(Adds details about litigation, background, Corzine)
NEW YORK, March 23 PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
has settled a $3 billion negligence lawsuit over the October
2011 collapse of MF Global Holdings Ltd, the futures and
commodities brokerage once run by former New Jersey governor Jon
Terms were not disclosed, but the malpractice case was
"settled to the mutual satisfaction of the parties,"
representatives for PwC and MF Global's bankruptcy administrator
said in separate statements on Thursday.
The accord ends the last major piece of litigation that the
administrator, hedge fund founder Nader Tavakoli, has been
pursuing on behalf of MF Global creditors.
It also ends a trial that began on March 7 in the U.S.
District Court in Manhattan, where several witnesses including
Corzine had already testified.
PwC has denied wrongdoing. It blamed Corzine's business
strategy and the market's reaction to it for MF Global's demise.
In April 2015, PwC reached a separate $65 million settlement
with MF Global investors, but denied wrongdoing there too.
Lawyers for both sides on Thursday declined to comment or
were not immediately available for comment.
MF Global filed for Chapter 11 protection on Oct. 31, 2011
as news about Corzine's $6.3 billion wager on European sovereign
debt, a surprise tax writedown, and credit rating downgrades
fueled worries about its survival.
Investors became upset when MF Global moved the European
debt onto its balance sheet on Oct. 25, 2011, after previously
discussing it more generally in regulatory filings.
The administrator faulted PwC over the accounting for
"repurchase-to-maturity" transactions through which Corzine bet
on the European debt, and for changing its advice on deferred
tax assets, causing the writedown.
Corzine, also a former New Jersey senator and Goldman Sachs
co-chairman, testified that he had trusted PwC because of
its strong reputation. He also called the European debt a
low-risk investment that ultimately paid in full.
In January, Corzine agreed to pay $5 million and accept a
lifetime U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission ban to settle
claims by that agency.
Corzine, 70, now runs an office focused on charitable giving
and his family's investments, and has taught at Fairleigh
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Jeffrey
Benkoe and Marguerita Choy)