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MF Trustee Transfers $1.5B in Customer Accounts

The liquidator of broker-dealer MF Global Inc. said about $1.5 billion in customer accounts has been transferred to other commodities futures merchants so far, representing about 17,000 customer positions.

“The trustee and his advisors continue to facilitate the transfer of additional customer account positions and customer account funds,” protecting customers caught in the bankruptcy, trustee James W. Giddens said in a statement today.

Giddens froze 150,000 customer accounts on Oct. 31, including 50,000 commodities accounts that he aimed to transfer to other futures brokers. He worked with clearing organizations and regulators through the weekend to make transfers, he said in the statement.

The trustee, after obtaining a judge’s permission last week to subpoena MF Global officers, directors and lenders for information on whether fraud or misconduct led to the failure of the firm previously run by Jon Corzine, said his probe is “underway.” He hired Ernst & Young LLP as forensic accountants and Deloitte LLP to help with transfering accounts, processing of claims and administration, he said today. He’ll seek court permission before setting up a system to process claims, he said.

The website, www.mfglobaltrustee.com, will be Giddens’s “primary method” for communicating information to customers and creditors of the brokerage, he said.

Separately, Giddens asked U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Martin Glenn to approve the return of money “misdirected” to MF Global bank accounts, including sums intended for the benefit of customers whose accounts are being moved. He needs permission also to stake claim to any misdirected amounts owed to a party who has a debt to the brokerage estate, he said.

The case is In re MF Global Inc., 11-ap-2790, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

To contact the reporter on this story: Linda Sandler in New York at lsandler@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Pickering at jpickering@bloomberg.net.

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