U.S. Rep. Timothy V. Johnson will hold a press conference Friday to discuss the House Agriculture Committee's inquiry into MF Global's bankruptcy and the disappearance of $1.2 billion in customers' investments, including millions from Central Illinois investors.
The press conference will be at 11:15 a.m. Friday at Rep. Johnson's home at 413 Beringer, Urbana.
Rep. Johnson was one of the lead interrogators Thursday of former MF Global CEO Jon Corzine and staff of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, which regulates commodity trades. The House Agriculture Committee is conducting the hearings as it has oversight authority over the CFTC.
MF Global's collapse is the 8th-largest bankruptcy in the history of the United States and its impact is sweeping, impacting thousands of farmers and ranchers who invested in futures markets to help protect against risk and price volatility.
"Many of my constituents have been left holding the bag and need to be made whole," Rep. Johnson said. "This is not an inside the beltway, or even inside Wall Street scandal. This is rural America that's been fleeced."
The House Agriculture Committee voted unanimously last week to subpoena Corzine. Thursday's hearing was the first public inquiry of Corzine since the firm filed for bankruptcy Oct. 31. As much as $1.2 billion may be missing from customers' futures accounts, accounts that were supposed to be safe and segregated. The firm declared bankruptcy after disclosing its exposure to investments in risky European bonds.
The Securities and Exchange Commission and the FBI are also investigating.
Rep. Johnson is the third-ranking member of the Agriculture Committee and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Rural Development.
Corzine, a former Democrat Senator and Governor of New Jersey, resigned after MF Global declared bankruptcy. Coincidentally, Corzine and Rep. Johnson are both Phi Beta Kappa graduates of the University of Illinois Class of 1969.