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Regulator's MF Global Priority: 'Get Back the Money'

The first priority of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission is to get the money people entrusted to now-bankrupt MF Global, Commissioner Jill Sommers told CNBC Thursday.


"We’re hearing from customers every day," she said. "They are losing money every day. It is our number one prority those customers get back the money that belongs to them."

Jon Corzine, MF Global's chief executive, is expected to tell Congresshis involvement in the firm's operations was limited, and that the plight of "customers, employees and investors" caught when the firm went bankrupt "weighs on my mind every day."

Sommers also testified before the House Agriculture committee, where Corzine is expected to speak later Thursday. She told the panel she did not see "red flags" in MF Global's actions until the weekend before it filed for bankruptcy.

Unlike CFTC head Bart Chilton, who told CNBC Monday the agency will likely file criminal charges against MF Global, Sommers would not comment on what comes next, although she said talk of a CFTC "insurance fund" or other policy measures to further protect commodities brokers may come up for discussion "after we know exactly what happened with MF Global."

She disputed reports that pressure from Corzine delayed approval of a CFTC rule putting tighter limits on how brokerages can use customer funds. That rule was approved Monday.

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