He should be ready for the federal penitentiary.
Few of the financial titans who ran firms into the ground over the past decade are as deeply connected on Wall Street and in Washington, D.C., as Jon Corzine, onetime New Jersey governor and U.S. senator and the former CEO of both Goldman Sachs and the now-defunct brokerage house MF Global.
A testament to that may be how easily he bounced back from his grilling in Congress over the 2011 bankruptcy of MF Global—the eighth-largest bankruptcy in U.S. history—to be welcomed back into society circles. In August, Corzine hosted a “Ready for Hillary” party in the Hamptons with his new wife, psychotherapist Sharon Elghanayan, along with a group of well-heeled co-hosts that included actress Ashley Judd.
Yet James Koutoulas, CEO of $100 million Chicago hedge fund Typhon Capital Management, is determined to see Corzine get his comeuppance. “I am going to keep fighting until Corzine is in jail,” he says. “The evidence we need to charge him is there. We need to make clear as a society that the next time a sociopath CEO says, ‘Do I go out of business or do I cheat?’ and chooses to cheat, he is going to be thinking about it in an orange jumpsuit in state prison.
Koutoulas, 34, faces formidable headwinds. Corzine, a former Democratic politician, has powerful friends, including President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, for whom he has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations, including his own money.
And the former MF Global CEO has made it clear he is not about to give in. While many have forgotten about Corzine’s legal travails, he is awaiting trial in U.S. District Court on civil charges brought by watchdog agency the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), which accuses him of failing “repeatedly and unlawfully” to prevent more than $1 billion in customer funds from being misused as MF Global unraveled in the fall of 2011. With no trial date set, though, the civil suit could take years and will not result in jail time.
Two Americas: One for the regular folks, another for well-connected, shady Democrats. Is it any wonder Granny has to hide behind some lame Twitter announcement when she’s got such sleazy acquaintances? We can only imagine the scrutiny a Republican would face with such dubious fundraisers.