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MF Global trader who lost $141M in unauthorized trade pleads guilty

Updated: January 13, 2013 11:09AM

A Mississippi commodities trader pleaded guilty Tuesday to losing $141 million in a single night of unauthorized trading of wheat futures through the Chicago Board of Trade.

Evan Brent Dooley, 44, of Olive Branch, Miss., pleaded guilty to two counts of violating the Commodity Exchange Act for exceeding trading limits, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office. He was originally charged with 16 counts of wire fraud and two counts of violating the Act.

Dooley, who goes by his middle name, faces up to 10 years in prison and a $1 million fine, plus an agreed order of restitution. He remains free on bond pending a March 8 sentencing in U.S. District Court in Chicago.

Dooley, who worked in the Memphis, Tenn., office of now-defunct MF Global Inc., convinced the company with false information about his financial condition to open a trading account for him and act as his financial guarantor, federal prosecutors said.

He then traded from his home computer on his own account and for clients between September 2006 and February 2008, according to an April 2010 federal indictment.

Dooley admitted he made a series of buy and sell orders for nearly 32,000 wheat futures contracts (5,000 bushels each) during overnight trading beginning about 8 p.m. on Feb. 26, 2008.

Dooley knew he did not have the ability to repay in the event of a loss, prosecutors allege, and his position on the trades greatly exceeded regulatory limits.

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