- - Monday, December 19, 2011

Where there is billowing, suffocating smoke, there generally is fire. The dark smoke of corruption is billowing around former Democratic senator, New Jersey governor, Goldman Sachs bigwig and MF Global Chairman and CEO Jon Corzine. A pall of suspicion has followed Corzine the Corrupt’s career like flies at a summer barbecue.

As CEO of the now defunct MF Global, Corzine was at the controls of the investment firm when it made risky investments that ultimately led to MF Global going belly-up and losing all the investors’ money.

Corzine is not alone. There are plenty of examples of slick, lying, cheating, crooked or idiotic CEOs and other corporate officers steering their companies off a financial cliff and into bankruptcy or insolvency and ripping off investors while enriching themselves. The Enron gang comes to mind.

The Securities and Exchange Commission just recently filed suit against six former corporate officers of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for lying to investors about the size of their subprime loans. Meanwhile, those corrupt white-collar gangsters were paid millions.

Corzine the Corrupt didn’t miss a beat. Losing investor cash because of risky ventures is one thing, but not being able to account for $1.2 billion is quite another.

That essentially is what has happened at MF Global. Corzine said under oath, before the Senate Agriculture Committee of all places, that he doesn’t know what happened to the money that can’t be accounted for.

Remember, Corzine was the captain of that ship. As CEO, he was ultimately responsible for managing the finances of the company. During his brief reign at MF Global, he drove the 228-year-old firm off a cliff in just 19 months. Bottom line: Corzine is either a punk crook or one of the world’s all-time most incompetent CEOs.

He was surrounded by other company officers, including legal counsel, a chief operating officer and a chief financial officer. With these officers and other corporate staff members responsible for assisting him, Mr. Corzine knows that $1 billion does not just disappear into the vapor.

You don’t have to be a Wall Street investment whiz-bang to recognize that there are sufficient ugly and dark smoke signals of corruption here to file criminal charges against the Corzine gang that oversaw the plundering of MF Global.

We throw bank robbers in the slammer for years, and most of them only get away with a few thousand dollars before being arrested. They get hard time. We should treat white-collar robbers no differently. No minimum-security, country-club prisons for them. Hard time in a maximum-security prison is just what the justice doctor ordered.

Corzine the Corrupt deserves his day in court. If there is any justice left in America, this fraudster and his former confederates at MF Global should be convicted of fraud, theft and other charges. Throw the punks in the slammer for a couple of decades. Maybe they could stamp out license plates alongside Bernie Madoff.

Ted Nugent is an American rock ‘n’ roll, sporting and political activist icon. He is the author of “Ted, White, and Blue: The Nugent Manifesto” and “God, Guns & Rock ‘N’ Roll” (Regnery Publishing).