MF Global to pay $1.2 billion to former investors

The bankrupt financial firm formerly run by Gov. Jon Corzine has been ordered by a court to pay $1.2 billion to help customers recover their losses.

The financial derivatives dealer also agreed to pay a $100 million penalty to help settle charges it failed to monitor its activities, misled regulators, and improperly used customer funds to try and keep the company afloat.

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The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), which obtained the order, said MF Global admitted to the allegations, and that ongoing litigation continues against Corzine and Edith O’Brien, a former executive central to the improper transfer of customer funds.

Initially, up to $1.6 billion in customer funds could not be tracked down after the firm’s October 2011 bankruptcy, one of the largest in the nation’s history. But customers now stand to be fully recouped of any missing dollars still lingering after a trustee tracked down most of the funds.

MF Global’s bankruptcy, driven by extensive investments in risky European sovereign debt and set off by a lack of public confidence in the firm’s stability, had ramifications from Wall Street to Washington. Corzine, who previously served as the Democratic governor of New Jersey and a former senator, was forced to testify before several congressional committees on the matter.

Corzine insisted he did not know how customer funds were improperly transferred in the final days of the company. He still faces civil suits from financial regulators and former investors, but has professed his innocence since the firm went bankrupt.