MF Global ordered to pay $1.2B

Court order also imposes a $100M penalty against firm who misused customer funds in October 2011.

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has obtained a federal court consent order against MF Global Holdings Ltd. (MFGH) requiring it to pay $1.212 billion in restitution or such amount as necessary to ensure that claims of customers of its subsidiary, MF Global Inc. (MFGI), are paid in full.

The CFTC previously filed and settled charges against MFGI for misuse of customer funds and related supervisory failures in violation of the Commodity Exchange Act and CFTC Regulations. MFGI was required to pay $1.212 billion in restitution to its customers, as well as a $100 million penalty. MFGH’s restitution obligation is joint and several with MFGI’s restitution obligation, pursuant to which a substantial portion of the restitution obligation has already been paid.

The consent order, entered on December 23, 2014, by Judge Victor Marrero of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, also imposes a $100 million civil monetary penalty on MFGH, to be paid after claims of customers and certain other creditors entitled to priority under bankruptcy law have been fully paid.

The consent order arises out of the CFTC’s amended complaint, filed on December 6, 2013, charging MFGH and the other defendants with unlawful use of customer funds. In the consent order, MFGH admits to the allegations pertaining to its liability based on the acts and omissions of its agents as set forth in the consent Order and the amended Complaint.

The CFTC’s amended complaint charged that MFGH controlled MFGI’s operations and was responsible for MFGI’s unlawful use of customer segregated funds during the last week of October 2011. In addition to the misuse of customer funds, the amended complaint alleged that MFGH is responsible for MFGI’s (i) failure to notify the CFTC immediately when it knew or should have known of the deficiencies in its customer accounts, (ii) filing of false statements in reports with the CFTC that failed to show the deficits in the customer accounts, and (iii) use of customer funds for impermissible investments in securities that were not considered readily marketable or highly liquid, in violation of CFTC regulations.

The CFTC’s litigation continues against the remaining defendants, former chief executive officer Jon Corzine and another MF Global executive Edith O’Brien.

The CFTC said it appreciated the assistance of the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices for the Southern District of New York and the Northern District of Illinois, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom.

The consent order recognizes the cooperation of MFGH and requires MFGH’s continued cooperation with the CFTC.

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