MF Global's O'Brien Takes Fifth

Assistant treasurer Edith O’Brien declines to answer questions at House hearing.

Edith O’Brien, the MF Global Holdings Ltd. assistant treasurer who has become a key figure in the disappearance of as much as $1.6 billion in customer funds, declined to answer questions from House lawmakers.

O’Brien, who appeared today under subpoena before a House Financial Services subcommittee, invoked her constitutional right against self-incrimination during a hearing on the New York firm’s Oct. 31 bankruptcy.

‘Accounting Error’

Serwinski said that on Oct. 30 she was “still operating under the belief that there must have been an accounting error because such a large deficit was simply inconceivable to me.” She said she didn’t realize the shortfall was real until the morning of Oct. 31, hours before the firm filed for bankruptcy.

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