Friday, December 16, 2011

That's My Story and I'm Sticking to It--"Corzine: MF Staff Said Fund Transfer Legal"

The role playing sessions Corzine has been doing with his attorneys must be a blast:

Andrew Levander: Dammit Jon, stick to the script
Jon Corzine: But it was, it was the little people.
Andrew Levander: Jon, you can't use those words, you saw the reaction to Leona Helmesley.
Jon Corzine: Okay, okay, where were we?
Andrew Levander: Intent. They have to show intent.
Jon Corzine: So I say I didn't intend for the little subordinates to lend customer money to anyone.
Andrew Levander: Jon, we've covered this. You didn't instruct anyone to transfer the money. You would never intend harm to any of God's creatures.
Jon Corzine: How much am I paying you? I could've come up with "It was an accident" for a lot less than $2000 an hour.

From Bloomberg:
Corzine’s ‘Intent’ Was to Head Off Possible Claims, Lawyers Say
Throughout more than two hours of congressional testimony, Jon S. Corzine was careful to invoke the idea of intent when asked how his failed brokerage, MF Global Holdings Ltd., came to lose track of as much as $1.2 billion in its clients’ money.

“I certainly would never intend to direct or have segregated funds moved,” Corzine said yesterday during his appearance before the House Agriculture Committee, testifying he didn’t know what happened to the missing money. “I am comfortable that certainly on my part there was no intention to violate segregation rules,” he told lawmakers at another point.

Corzine, responding to the first of three subpoenas from congressional committees investigating the collapse of his firm and the missing funds, defied the expectations of some analysts when he decided to answer questions and not resort to his right against self-incrimination. Lawyers said it was no surprise that he repeatedly focused on intent in his testimony.

The language Corzine used “is certainly an attempt to defuse any criminal responsibility,” said Stephen Braga, an attorney with Ropes & Gray LLP in Washington.

“Most crimes require a wrongful intent, and accordingly mistake is a defense to most crimes,” Braga said. “This testimony suggests an unintentional, mistaken occurrence, which would not be criminal. Whether that suggestion fits the facts or not remains to be seen.”...MORE
And the headline story, also from Bloomberg:
Jon S. Corzine, former chairman and chief executive officer of MF Global Holdings Ltd., told lawmakers today that the firm’s back-office staff “explicitly” informed him that fund transfers made before the company filed for bankruptcy were legal.

Corzine, testifying today before U.S. lawmakers for the third time in a week, was responding to allegations made at a U.S. Senate hearing earlier this week when the executive chairman of Chicago-based CME Group Inc. (CME) told lawmakers Corzine had known of a $175 million loan using client money that was made before the Oct. 31 bankruptcy.

Corzine used today’s hearing of an oversight panel of the House Financial Services Committee to rebut the suggestion that he may have authorized improper use of customer money....MORE 
Jon Corzine: And did you see Pat Roberts trying to act like a Senator? He's from Kansas for Chrissakes.