Obama campaign, DNC return Corzine contributions

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign and the Democratic National Committee have returned more than $70,000 in contributions from former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine following the collapse of MF Global, Corzine’s financial firm, officials said Friday.

Obama’s campaign and the DNC returned contributions of $35,800 from Corzine and his wife, Sharon Elghanayan, said Democratic officials who spoke on condition of anonymity. They were not authorized to speak publicly.

Corzine was among Obama’s top fundraisers, raising at least $500,000 for Obama’s re-election campaign since April, according to records released by the campaign. The former Goldman Sachs chief held a fundraiser for the president last April and was considered a main Obama emissary to Wall Street.

One of the Democratic officials said the campaign and DNC would evaluate whether to return donations from other MF Global employees on a case-by-case basis.

A spokesman for Corzine declined to comment.

MF Global filed for bankruptcy protection on Oct. 31 after a disastrous bet on European debt sparked fear among investors and trading partners. It was the eighth-largest U.S. bankruptcy and the largest on Wall Street since the 2008 collapse of Lehman Bros.

About $1.2 billion was found to be missing from client accounts when the securities firm failed, with much of the missing money belonging to farmers, ranchers and other business owners who used MF Global to reduce their risks from fluctuating prices of commodities such as corn and wheat. The FBI and federal regulators are investigating MF Global.

Corzine, who also is a former U.S. senator, told congressional panels earlier this month that he didn’t know any customer money was missing until the day before MF Global collapsed.

Bloomberg News was first to report the returned campaign contributions.

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