US Officials Argue With UK Authorities Over Missing MF Global Money

A tug-of-war has broken out between American and British authorities over the $700 million missing from MF Global’s customer accounts. According to reports, the money has been found in the brokerage’s London operations, and British authorities are not ready to give it up. MF Global declared bankruptcy October 31st, and the trustee assigned with liquidating the firm says that the $700 million found in the UK is all from US clients of the firm and should be returned immediately. But the Joint Special Administrator of MF Global UK says it is not prepared to distribute the money yet.

“We are pleased with progress in the collection of both client and company monies, and are working hard to prepare to make an interim distribution of client money as soon as reasonably practicable,” the British authority said. James Giddens, the trustee assigned the task of recovering customer funds in the US, said he was disappointed with the British response, and he has retained lawyers in the UK to try to get the money handed over as soon as possible.

MF Global is under investigation by the Justice Department and other entities after filing for bankruptcy protection. Bankruptcy officials have since discovered a significant amount of missing money from customers’ accounts, which Giddens has estimated could be as much as $1.2 billion. Top executives from MF Global, including CEO Jon Corzine, have told investigators that they do not know where the money went.