CME Subpoenaed in MF Global Investigation

CME Subpoenaed in MF Global Investigation

Chicago grand jury wanted witnesses and information for probe of MF Global.

On Tuesday CME Group during its annual financial filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission revealed that it had received two subpoenas immediately following the collapse of MF Global on Oct. 31, 2011.

According to a CME Group spokeswoman on Nov. 1, 2011 a grand jury in Chicago issued a subpoena for witnesses and information pertaining to the collapse of MF Global. A separate demand was made on Nov. 3, 2011 by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission's enforcement unit.

Concurrent investigations into the financial collapse of MF Global and missing funds are being conducted by the Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, CFTC and SEC. So far no criminal charges have been filed from the investigations, and many believe the trail is growing cold and the likelihood of pinpointing criminal wrongdoing at the brokerage is becoming less by the day.

About 75% of funds have been returned to investors. The trustee for MF Global's liquidation estimates the shortfall in customer funds related to U.S. trading to be roughly $900 million, with an additional $700 million in funds tied to trading on non-U.S. exchanges.

Several lawsuits have been filed against CME Group due to the MF Global collapse and it has also seen trading volume drop and a decline in customer confidence since the bankruptcy filing.  CME was the main regulator auditing MF Global.

The disclosure of the subpoenas during the SEC filing was standard. Any company or exchange is legally obligated to disclose when it has received subpoenas and requests for information from prosecutors or regulators. If CME had been told it was the target of a criminal or regulatory probe, the exchange would be required to include that in its annual report.

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