``One thing seems to be certain: Investigators and banks that have had extensive dealings with MF Global believe whatever money is missing is probably gone forever and won't be able to be returned to investors when the investigation is complete, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter. That's because even if customer funds are located, if they were used  to pay off legitimate claims of creditors those creditors are legally entitled to the money... if executives of the firm purposely co-mingled customer cash with those used to run MF Global's operations, that could lead to criminal fraud charges.''

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