US probes if MF Global customer money missing -NYT

Mon Oct 31, 2011 8:45pm EDT

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Oct 31 (Reuters) - Hundreds of millions of dollars in customer money went missing from MF Global in recent days, according to federal regulators investigating the futures brokerage that filed for bankruptcy, the New York Times reported on Monday.

The newspaper's DealBook report cited several people briefed on the matter but did not identify them. The report said that what began as nearly $1 billion missing had dropped to less than $700 million by late Monday.

The New York Times said its sources believed that some money was expected to trickle in as the firm goes through the bankruptcy process.

Former Goldman Sachs chief Jon Corzine's bid to revive his Wall Street career crashed and burned when his MF Global Holdings Ltd filed for bankruptcy protection following bad bets on euro zone debt.

Regulators are examining whether MF Global diverted some customer money to support its own trades as the firm teetered on the brink of collapse, the New York Times said.

In a statement on Monday night, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission said that regulators had been monitoring MF Global in anticipation of a transaction "that would include the transfer of customer accounts to another firm."

"Early this morning, MF Global informed the regulators that the transaction had not been agreed to and reported possible deficiencies in customer futures segregated accounts held at the firm," the regulators' statement said.

A spokeswoman for MF Global could not immediately be reached for comment.

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