|August 25, 2012
This is a must see. More evidence that Jon Corzine is guilty:
CME Group Chairman Terry Duffy tells the Senate that CEO Jon Corzine knew loans were made from customer accounts - Dec. 13, 2011.
Eric Holder: What the hell else do you need to hear...
The senior employee's name is undoubtedly Edith O'Brien.
O'Brien is the key to this case and she's not talking, at least publicly, but that hasn't stopped Corzine and his lawyers from implicating her for the impermissible transfers to JPMorgan.
She's not a lightweight:
Ms. O’Brien is considered an expert of sorts on the protection of customer money at futures firms. In the last year and a half, Ms. O’Brien has made several appearances before the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. On at least two occasions, she was a panelist at roundtable discussions held at the agency on the topic of safeguarding customer money, and also attended at least three meetings with agency officials, including one titled “Practicalities of Individual Customer Protection.”
Slammed by Corzine:
“I had explicit statements that we were using proper funds, both orally and in writing, to the best of my knowledge,” he told the panel. “The woman that I spoke to was a Ms. Edith O’Brien.” But JPMorgan was not satisfied. The bank once again contacted Mr. Corzine, this time requesting a guarantee in writing. Mr. Corzine handed the request to his general counsel, Laurie Ferber. Ms. Ferber would not authorize the document, according to one of the people close to the investigation, saying the firm did not offer such special assurances.
Two days later, at about 6 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 30, Ms. Ferber notified regulators that there was an apparent shortfall in customer money. She blamed an accounting error, according to the CME Group, the firm’s primary regulator and an exchange where it conducted business.
At about 1 a.m., Ms. O’Brien and another executive in Chicago told the exchange that the shortfall in the customer accounts was real, according to the CME.
Janet Tavakoli adds detail:
Jon Corzine claims he didn't know about improper transfers of customer funds and of shortfalls in customer accounts until October 30, yet on Thursday, October 27, four days before the bankruptcy and again on Friday, October 28, three days before its bankruptcy, dozens of MF Global customers asked for wire transfers when they closed accounts, and they didn't get them. Instead, MF Global wrote paper checks and sent the checks via snail mail. The checks bounced, since customers received them after MF Global declared bankruptcy on Monday, October 31.
Clients Raise Questions About MF Global Checks - NY Times Dealbook
MF Global and the Rubber Check - Reuters
More from Janet:
On October 28, JPMorgan didn't buy Corzine's story, either. Having been a risk manager myself, I believe Barry Zubrow, JPMorgan's chief risk officer, did exactly the right thing. He called Jon Corzine to get him to verify that the funds belonged to MF Global and that none of the money was customer money. Zubrow, an outsider, was well aware of the possibility that customer funds had been transferred. It's implausible that Corzine wasn't aware of the potential impermissible transfer of customer funds when he gave the authority to make the transfer. By doing its job, JPMorgan removed Corzine's ability to credibly deny knowledge of the potential problem.
As for JPMorgan, it asked Jon Corzine for a signed letter stating that the transfer was legitimate. He reportedly responded: "Send me the letter and we'll have our people look at it." It was disingenuous of Jon Corzine to pass JPMorgan's letter to Edith O'Brien to sign given that it asked for a sign-off that all "past, present and future" transfers complied with the law. Ms. O'Brien would have been asked to take responsibility for all transfers without having the authority over them. Jon Corzine had the broad authority to sign the letter, but by passing it on, he effectively stalled.
JPMorgan sent additional versions of this letter in response to MF Global's requests for revisions, but JPMorgan never received a signed letter back.
Eric Holder: Appoint a Special Prosecutor Now...