Three top executives from collapsed broker MF Global yesterday denied all knowledge of where the missing $1.2bn (£772.7m) of customers' money has gone.
To the incredulity of members of a Senate committee, the three executives – Henri Steenkamp, chief financial officer, Bradley Abelow, president and chief operating officer and Jon Corzine, former chairman and chief executive – have all claimed they do not know what happened to the missing money.
Mr Steenkamp said in his testimony: "I do not know why these funds cannot be accounted for, but based on the fact that no shortfalls had been reported to me previously, it appears that any irregularities were likely caused by events that occurred shortly before the bankruptcy filing."
The three prepared statements for the hearing of the US House of Representatives Agriculture Committee into the collapse and disappearance of funds.
MF Global went under after a $6bn bet on European sovereign debt went wrong.
At the hearing, Senator Debbie Stabenow said the lack of answers about the missing money raised "very troubling questions".
"MF Global didn't keep their books with feather quills and dusty ledgers," she said. "The rules about keeping customer money segregated are pretty straightforward."
Ms Stabenow and Senator Pat Roberts said they were concerned the MF Global meltdown and the loss of customer funds could have a long-term negative effect on the futures market.
In a separate testimony, and the strongest accusation against MF Global yet, a top executive of futures exchange operator CME Group claimed the broker misused hundreds of millions of dollars of customer funds by moving the money to its own accounts.