House Agriculture Committee votes to subpoena Corzine for MF Global hearing

By Agri-Pulse staff

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.

WASHINGTON, Dec. 2- The House Committee on Agriculture voted by unanimous voice vote today to subpoena former MF Global CEO Jon Corzine to testify on his role in the firm's collapse. The Committee scheduled a hearing on December 8 to examine the MF Global bankruptcy and the ensuing loss of billions of dollars in customer funds. 

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“Given that futures customers, particular those in agriculture, were affected by MF Global's collapse it is imperative that we hear directly from all those involved,” said Ranking Member Collin Peterson (D-Minn.).

Regulators are looking into whether MF Global used money from customers' accounts for its own purposes before the bankruptcy. They estimate that $1.2 billion or more may be missing from customer accounts. The Agriculture Committee is the committee of jurisdiction over futures and derivatives markets. Peterson said members will use next week's hearing to explore what led to the firm's bankruptcy filing as well as potential steps to take to ensure a similar event does not occur again. 

“It is the committee's responsibility to shed light on the facts and circumstances surrounding the bankruptcy,” said Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.). “The bottom line is that this Committee has a responsibility to get to the facts.”

Corzine did not respond to an informal request to testify at the Agriculture Committee hearing. Corzine's attorney had told the Committee that the former CEO would not be available on December 8. Lucas said if Corzine announces he is willing to testify, the Agriculture Committee would be flexible. However, the subpoena is necessary since “it's difficult to gauge whether it's a legitimate conflict or a delaying tactic,” he said. 

The full committee hearing, “Examination of MF Global bankruptcy,” is scheduled for Thursday, December 8, 2011 at 9:30 a.m. in 1300 Longworth House Office Building. Peterson said other witnesses are expected to testify, including representatives from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) as well as constituents impacted by the firm's collapse. 


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