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

Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleySenate rivals gear up for debates Grassley pulling away from Dem challenger Overnight Finance: McConnell offers 'clean' funding bill | Dems pan proposal | Flint aid, internet measure not included | More heat for Wells Fargo | New concerns on investor visas MORE (R-Iowa), along with a bipartisan group of 16 other senators, called on Attorney General Eric HolderEric H. HolderLawyer claims death threats after anti-Black Lives Matter lawsuit Adviser: Obama can’t ‘erase decades’ of racism Airbnb enlists civil rights leaders in discrimination fight MORE 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 BaucusMax BaucusChina moves to lift ban on US beef Overnight Healthcare: Zika fight stalls government funding talks | Census finds big drop in uninsured | Mental health bill faces wait Glover Park Group now lobbying for Lyft MORE (Mont.) and Sens. Ben Nelson (Neb.), Kent Conrad (N.D.), Sherrod BrownSherrod BrownLawmakers play catch-up as smartphone banking surges Overnight Finance: McConnell offers 'clean' funding bill | Dems pan proposal | Flint aid, internet measure not included | More heat for Wells Fargo | New concerns on investor visas House votes to eliminate Olympic medal tax MORE (Ohio) and Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharOvernight Defense: US attempted hostage rescue in Afghanistan | Defense hawks brace for spending fight | Trump slams 'lies' about Iraq war stance Senators want military separation policy to address trauma-related behavior Senate Dems reignite fight for hearing on SCOTUS nominee MORE (Minn.).