Schmeltz adds that "in cases where there is financial fraud or impropriety, almost always it is because there was not a proper tone at the top: of doing things by the book, of proper risk management techniques, of complying with rules and regulations and that is where you have problems. By all accounts Jon Corzine did not set a proper tone at the top at MF Global.”
CCC co-founder John Roe says the New York Times story calls for an investigation into potential leaks and reiterated his call for an independent counsel.
“The DOJ should be very careful not to release any information on its investigations, so as not to prejudice pending cases," Roe says. "When anonymously sourced articles like this appear virtually clearing Corzine, it demonstrates the need for an independent counsel to get this away from the DOJ.”
He adds, “The SIPA Trustee told the Senate that there was enough evidence to pursue a case for fraud against Corzine. The CFTC has repeatedly told Congress that violations of the Commodity Exchange Act constitute felonies. Does the Department of Justice expect the public to believe that it’s not against the law to violate the Commodity Exchange Act?”
Throughout the long slog that has been the MF Global investigation, various stories, citing unnamed sources, have appeared in the press that seem to discourage the pursuit of making customers whole and criminal prosecutions. At one point the Wall Street Journal reported that MF Global customer funds may have “vaporized.”
Schmeltz says stories indicating there may be no criminal prosecution of top MF Global officials may be “trial balloons” use to gauge how big the public outrage would be.
He adds, “It is imperative that the message be sent to corporate executives, particularly executives in the futures industry who manage customer money that risk management is job number one. Not the profitability of your firm, not your shareholders return. If you want us to trade in a market, to put our money in your hands, risk management of our cash has got to be job one."