Sun, Oct 23, 2016
Welcome Guest
Free Trial RSS
Get FREE trial access to our award winning publications
Opalesque Futures Intelligence

The Untold Story: MF Global Criminal Investigation Likely Headed Into Final Stages

Friday, March 15, 2013

By Mark Melin

The MF Global investigation is expected to be entering its final stages after two and a half years of on again, off again activity.

There will be several paths the investigation could take, the most likely of which starts at the CFTC. The derivatives regulator could make a recommendation to criminally indict certain MF Global executives, including Jon Corzine, the former US Senator and Governor of New Jersey and onetime president of Goldman Sachs.

If a recommendation for criminal charges is made by the CFTC, it could ultimately move to the Department of Justice for review with a likely stop at the Obama White House before approval. This is the primary path being watched, but other scenarios with different probability factors exist.

Under this scenario there will be three initial key points to watch at the CFTC and three key points to watch at the DOJ and in the Obama administration.

The first transition point is likely to be the resignation of CFTC Commissioner Jill Sommers, who is currently commissioner in charge of the MF Global investigation. Commissioner Sommers was scheduled to resign at the end of March.

In her oversight capacity, Commissioner Sommers is expected to be replaced by senior CFTC Commissioner Bart Chilton.

Ms. Sommers MF Global experience likely involved frustration. Placed in a politically hot situation, she had the unenviable task of operating in the middle of a difficult mine field that included limited information flow and documented stand down orders grinding the investigation to a halt at times.

Speculation is once Commissioner Chilton takes the administrative reigns, investigation events could become fast moving. However, it should be noted Commissioner Chilton's role, like that of Commissioner Sommers, is not as the investigator, but rather manager of the administrative process.

Initial Process Inside the CFTC
If the regulatory agency follows protocol, initial decisions regarding recommendation for criminal charges against MF Global executives will be made independently by the CFTC's New York field investigators.

The field office case description and recommendations will ultimately arrive at the desk of CFTC Director of the Division of Enforcement David Meister. A former Skadden, Arps attorney with the firm's white collar crime group, Mr. Meister previously served as Assistant US States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. It is unknown if Mr. Meister is friendly with Skadden, Arps bankruptcy attorney, Kenneth Ziman, who played a role in the MF Global bankruptcy process.

Mr. Meister will be key towards determining if criminal charges are filed against MF Global executives. It is unknown who, if anyone, Mr. Meister will consult on the decision, but consultation with the CFTC Commissioner in charge of the MF Global investigation is possible.

If Mr. Meister recommends criminal charges, the issue is likely to go before CFTC Commissioners for a vote on the topic. If CFTC commissioners approve recommendations for criminal action, a case referral to the Department of Justice is likely.

These are the initial points to consider when watching the initial benchmarks in the MF Global investigation, as a number of variables can change based on the scope and clarity of Mr. Meister's recommendation.

For additional reporting on the MF Global criminal incident, click on this link to visit (requires free registration).

This article was published in Opalesque Futures Intelligence.
Opalesque Futures Intelligence
Opalesque Futures Intelligence
Opalesque Futures Intelligence
Today's Exclusives Today's Other Voices More Exclusives
Previous Opalesque Exclusives                                  
More Other Voices
Previous Other Voices                                               
Access Alternative Market Briefing

  • Top Forwarded
  • Top Tracked
  • Top Searched
  1. M&A - U.S. hedge fund HarbourVest is shock winner in the £1.1bn SVG Capital takeover saga, Hedge fund Parvus shows hand, toppling William Hill merger deal[more]

    U.S. hedge fund HarbourVest is shock winner in the £1.1bn SVG Capital takeover saga From The fierce battle to buy Britain's biggest private equity group has come to an unexpected conclusion, with the original bidder walking away with the prize. SVG Capital has agreed

  2. Marc Lasry: Energy is still a phenomenal opportunity[more]

    From Distressed debt specialist Marc Lasry said energy debt is still a "phenomenal opportunity" because investors can get "massively overpaid" for the risk they take on. There are "huge opportunities" in the energy sector especially in restructurings, the Avenue Capital Group CEO said Tues

  3. Opalesque Exclusive: Ex-SAC manager re-emerges with market neutral hedge fund[more]

    Benedicte Gravrand, Opalesque Geneva for New Managers: A manager re-emerged from the SAC battleground last year to launch his own hedge fund under the umbrella of New York-based investment firm Endicott Group.

  4. North America - Hedge-fund manager Kyle Bass says the U.S. is on track for stagflation, Billionaire hedge fund titans Dinan, Lasry on election, markets and best investment ideas[more]

    Hedge-fund manager Kyle Bass says the U.S. is on track for stagflation From Kyle Bass, founder of Hayman Capital Management, on Wednesday warned that the U.S. is headed toward so-called stagflation. Stagflation is typically described as persistently high inflation and hi

  5. Macro hedge funds up 3.3% in one week on Fed and Brexit pays off[more]

    Komfie Manalo, Opalesque Asia: Hedge funds were boosted by the strong performance of global macro funds, with the Lyxor Global Macro Index gaining 3.3% as of the week ending Oct. 11 (-1.7% YTD), Lyxor Asset Management reported. Their short on the p