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Published January 25, 2012, 03:45 PM

MF Global victims should start claims

FARGO, N.D. — MF Global customers need to submit claims against the bankrupt brokerage firm before a Jan. 31 deadline, says U.S. Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., chairman of the Budget Committee and a high-ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Committee.

By: Mikkel Pates, Agweek

FARGO, N.D. — MF Global customers need to submit claims against the bankrupt brokerage firm before a Jan. 31 deadline, says U.S. Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., chairman of the Budget Committee and a high-ranking member of the Senate Agriculture Committee.

MF Global is accused of defrauding investors, including some North Dakota farmers and elevators, after making bad investments on European debt. “I encourage MF Global investors in North Dakota who are missing funds or securities to submit forms” by the deadline, Conrad said, adding the company’s leadership “must be held accountable for their reckless behavior.”

In separate letters last month, Conrad asked the chairmen of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate events surrounding the October 2011 collapse of the company. In letters to the agencies, Conrad said it appeared a loophole in regulations “allowed MF Global to engage in practices that bankrupted the company, and likely resulted in substantial losses and uncertainty for thousands of its customers.” The CFTC the following week voted unanimously to tighten several of those loopholes.

Conrad also wrote in November to CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler and Bankruptcy Trustee James Giddens, urging them to ensure that MF Global customers are paid back as soon as possible and that the claims process be kept simple and efficient.

Forms and filing instructions are available at the trustee’s website at www.mfglobaltrustee.com, and have been mailed to all former customers. Customers need only submit basic information by Jan. 31 to be eligible for claim payouts, and can submit more complete forms later.

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