Corzine remained confident, extravagant until the last minute

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Two weeks before accountants discovered $1.2 billion missing from client accounts at MF Global, company CEO Jon Corzine was shopping with his wife in the South of France for a multi-million-dollar chateau. The scandal-ridden company subsequently filed for bankruptcy protection.

The former Democratic senator, New Jersey governor and onetime Goldman Sachs CEO was in Paris for New York real estate developer Daniel Brodsky’s 60th birthday party.

Vanity Fair reported that Corzine’s wife, Sharon Elghanayan, told party guests, “‘It’s not in Cap Ferrat’ … perhaps to mitigate the extravagance.”

Two weeks later, MF Global made the eighth largest bankruptcy filing in history.  Lehman Brothers’ 2008 bankruptcy was the largest.

Another party-goer at the October 15 Paris bash told Vanity Fair, “To buy any decent chateau is at least a couple of million euros.”  The socialite continued, “And that is before the renovation with the air-conditioning and the new kitchen. Sharon was very excited. She said she was flying down there on Monday morning.”

Corzine resigned as MF Global CEO in November 2011 after the company’s rapid nose-dive.

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