“Per JC’s direct instructions” | FT Alphaville

“Per JC’s direct instructions”

From Bloomberg:

Jon S. Corzine, MF Global Holding Ltd. (MFGLQ)’s chief executive officer, gave “direct instructions” to transfer $200 million from a customer fund account to meet an overdraft in one of the brokerage’s JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) accounts in London, according to an e-mail sent by a firm executive.

Edith O’Brien, a treasurer for the firm, said in an e-mail sent the afternoon of Oct. 28, three days before the company collapsed, that the transfer of the funds was “Per JC’s direct instructions,” according to a copy of a memo drafted by congressional investigators and obtained by Bloomberg News.

Well, maybe it’s this guy…

O’Brien was subpoenaed this week to appear before a Congressional inquiry. During Corzine’s testimony to Congress in December, he named O’Brien as the person who assured him that the transfer of funds was appropriate.

Update (March 25) — The above is certainly colourful, but in advance of O’Brien’s testimony this week there’s an element of he-said she-said. More from Dealbook on Sunday to move the story on a bit:

The e-mail, sent by an executive in MF Global’s Chicago office, showed that the company had transferred $175 million to replenish an overdrawn account at JPMorgan Chase in London. The transfer, the e-mail said, was a “House Wire,” meaning that it came from the firm’s own money. The e-mail, sent at 2:20 p.m. on Oct. 28 to Mr. Corzine and two of his assistants in New York, says the transfer came from a “nonseg” account, industry speak for a noncustomer account.

But the e-mail, a copy of which was reviewed by The New York Times, did not capture the full story behind the wire, which turned out to contain customer money…

The e-mail suggests that Mr. Corzine, a former governor of New Jersey, was unaware that the money had been transferred from a customer account. But it is unclear whether someone at the commodities brokerage firm told Mr. Corzine the origins of the money during a phone call or in person. Congressional investigators are interviewing MF Global employees to see whether Mr. Corzine learned that the transfer of $200 million came directly from a customer segregated account, one of the people involved in the case said.

Related link:
The dramatic final days of MF Global – FT Alphaville