An MF Global Holdings Ltd. employee who oversaw transfers of money shortly before the securities firm collapsed was subpoenaed by a House subcommittee to testify at a hearing next week.
The Oversight and Investigations subcommittee of the House's Financial Services Committee voted Wednesday to subpoena Edith O'Brien, the company's assistant treasurer when it filed for Chapter 11 protection on Oct. 31.
Ten of the committee's 18 members attended the meeting and voted tosubpoena her, according to a person familiar with the matter.
"Ms. O'Brien has unique, personal knowledge regarding how and whycustomer funds went missing,'' Rep. Randy Neugebauer, the subcommittee's chairman, said in a statement. "We owe it to the thousands of customers of MF Global -- the ranchers, farmers and investors who lost money -- to get to the bottom of how this could have happened.''
Ms. O'Brien is expected to invoke her constitutional rights against self-incrimination and refuse to answer questions at the March 28 hearing, according to people familiar with the matter. Ms. O'Brien has declined so far to be interviewed by investigators and committee members.
She is of interest to the committee because she was among the employees who oversaw money transfers at MF Global. Ms. O'Brien now works for the bankruptcy trustee trying to recover money for MF Global customers, still owed an estimated $1.6 billion in money missing from a customer segregated account.
That work is expected to end April 15.
In December, former MF Global Chairman and Chief Executive Jon S. Corzine brought up Ms. O'Brien`s name when he was asked about the transfer of about $175 million from a customer account to an MF Global account at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. in London three days before MF Global`s bankruptcy filing.
The subcommittee is also discussing whether to subpoena documents from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission about the agency's actions just before the MF Global bankruptcy, according to people familiar with the matter.
The subcommittee also invited three other MF Global officials to testify about the hectic final week before the firm's bankruptcy filing. The shortfall emerged that week.
The potential witnesses are MF Global Chief Financial Officer Henri Steenkamp, General Counsel Laurie Ferber and Christine Serwinski, a finance official in the firm`s Chicago office. They have indicated to the committee that they will testify at next Wednesday's hearing, a person familiar with the situation said.
Mr. Steenkamp has previously testified to lawmakers that he didn`t know how customer money went missing. Ms. Ferber and Ms. Serwinski haven`t testified previously about the matter.
Lawyers for Ms. Ferber, Ms. Serwinski and Mr. Steenkamp couldn`t be immediately reached for comment. A lawyer for Ms. O'Brien declined to comment.