For some mysterious reason (hint, it’s the missing $700 million), the FBI and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission are taking a keen interest in MF Global’s collapse. The Bureau is investigating to see if client funds are intact, sources tell the Wall Street Journal, and the CFTC has voted to issue subpoenas regarding the missing cash—which, according to the Journal, now totals closer to $900 million.
The FBI’s move is just a preliminary step, the source noted—the Bureau will only launch a full-blown criminal probe if client funds are indeed missing and it decides that constitutes a crime. One US official said that money was indeed missing from client accounts, and MF Global admitted as much in a phone call. But a lawyer yesterday said that “to the best knowledge of management, there is no shortfall,” saying the missing cash was stuck in various banks and clearing houses. (Read more MF Global stories.)