A former U.S. senator and top Wall Street financial executive says he does "not know" what happened to an estimated $1.2 billion that has disappeared from the customer accounts of a now-bankrupt firm that he used to run.
Jon Corzine -- a former U.S. senator, governor of the state of New Jersey, and head of investment bank Goldman Sachs -- on December 8 accepted responsibility for the losses of the brokerage, MF Global, and apologized for failing to safeguard funds that clients had invested.
Corzine told a U.S. congressional panel in Washington that is probing the firm's bankruptcy.
"Like all of you, I am devastated by the enormous impact on many people's lives resulting from the events surround the MF Global bankruptcy," Corzine said. "Of course, my distress and sadness pale in comparison to the losses and hardships that customers, farmers, and ranchers and others, employees and investors, have suffered. Their plight weighs on my mind everyday. As the chief executive officer of MF Global at the time of its bankruptcy, I truly apologize to all those affected."
Corzine blamed financial decisions made before he came to MF Global, saying the company was already doomed to failure when he took over.
Corzine led MF Global for about 20 months, until it collapsed at the end of October in the eighth-biggest bankruptcy in U.S. history.
Thousands of customers have been unable to recover hundreds of thousands of dollars of their funds that have apparently gone missing at the firm.
compiled from agency reports