Grassley, 16 others push for 'exhaustive' investigation into MF Global failure

Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), along with a bipartisan group of 16 other senators, called on Attorney General Eric Holder this week to conduct a "comprehensive and exhaustive investigation" into the "potentially illegal misappropriation of funds" from MF Global customers.

"If the Department's ongoing investigation uncovers illegal actions, criminal prosecution should be pursued without hesitation," the senators wrote to Holder on Wednesday. "In order to get to the bottom of this, we urge federal agents to use every legal resource available."

The letter added that the bankruptcy of MF Global is posing the risk that thousands of farmers and other Americans stand to lose money in their accounts, even though federal rules require collateral to be held in customer segregated accounts.

"If credible evidence of illegalities is found by the investigation, significant resources should be utilized to prosecute those responsible," the letter said.

The bankruptcy has revealed that MF Global might have made proprietary investments with the collateral of its customers. The bankruptcy was prompted by fears that MF Global held too much risky sovereign debt.

Democrats on the letter are Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (Mont.) and Sens. Ben Nelson (Neb.), Kent Conrad (N.D.), Sherrod Brown (Ohio) and Amy Klobuchar (Minn.).

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