Just ten months ago Jon Corzine – the former New Jersey Senator and Governor and prior to that a former Goldman Sachs CEO – was forced to testify in front of a Congressional committee to explain how $1.6 billion in assets were missing from his firm when he was CEO at the now bankrupt MF Global – a commodities brokerage firm. We constantly talk about responsibility and accountability and at the end of the day – the CEO is the boss … the CEO is the one that is responsible to ensure systems are in place to protect customers. This guy should be in jail, but instead … he’s plotting his next score.
“I simply do not know where the money is or why the accounts haven’t been reconciled.”
~Jon Corzine, Congressional testimony regarding MF Global
The NY Times is reporting that he may not only start his own hedge fund … he may avoid prosecution from any wrongdoing as CEO at MF Global HERE:
After 10 months of stitching together evidence on the firm’s demise, criminal investigators are concluding that chaos and porous risk controls at the firm, rather than fraud, allowed the money to disappear, according to people involved in the case.
Those developments indicate that federal prosecutors do not expect to file criminal charges against the former New Jersey governor. Mr. Corzine has not yet received assurances that he is free from scrutiny, but two rounds of interviews with former employees and a review of thousands of documents have left prosecutors without a case against him, say the people involved in the investigation who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
While the government’s findings would remove the darkest cloud looming over Mr. Corzine — the threat of criminal charges — the former Goldman Sachs chief is not yet in the clear. A bankruptcy trustee on Wednesday joined customers’ lawsuits against Mr. Corzine, and regulators are still considering civil enforcement actions, which could cost him millions of dollars or ban him from working on Wall Street.
Mr. Corzine, in a bid to rebuild his image and engage his passion for trading, is weighing whether to start a hedge fund, according to people with knowledge of his plans. He is currently trading with his family’s wealth.
But that is what you do in Wall Street apparently according to Forbes HERE:
So what about that hedge fund Corzine is apparently considering? It’s only mildly surprising that he’s weighing that option. “Memories are very short on Wall Street,” says Dan Seiver chief economist at Reilly Financial Advisors, a San Diego wealth management firm.
Seiver points to the Barry Minkow. A convicted felon who went to jail for conducting a $100 million Ponzi scheme during the 1980s. After serving 25 years in jail, Minkow rejoined the world as a fraud detective helping the FBI and SEC identify financial fraud. Last year he was sentenced to another prison term for another run-in with securities fraud.
And who can forget John Meriwether, the former head of the collapsed Long-Term Capital Management which needed to be bailed out to the tune of $3.6 billion. He later founded other hedge funds including JWM Partners. “When that hedge fund was battered during the financial crisis — reports had it losing 44% — he shuttered it and started a third fund,” MarketWatch notes.
Vanity Fair does a great job putting together the background story on Jon Corzine’s time at MF Global HERE.
Reuters recaps Jon Corzine’s testimony in front of Congress below:
And yet – despite going bankrupt on bad bets and losing $1.6 billion in assets that are no longer accounted for … this is what Jon Corzine is doing while his customers lost everything.
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