Jon S. Corzine, the former New Jersey governor and Goldman Sachs co-chairman, probably will be sued by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission for his role in the collapse of MF Global Holdings Ltd., said a person with direct knowledge of the situation.

The CFTC, the federal agency that regulated MF Global until the brokerage filed for bankruptcy in 2011, could sue Corzine as soon as this week, said the person, who asked for anonymity because the case isn't public yet. CFTC spokesman Steve Adamske declined to comment.

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The suit against Corzine, 66, would mark a new low for the Wall Street veteran, who rose to the top of Goldman Sachs before being elected New Jersey's senator and then governor. He could face millions of dollars in fines and a ban from trading commodities if he's found liable, The New York Times reported late Monday.

"The CFTC apparently intends to bring what would be an unprecedented and meritless civil enforcement action against Mr. Corzine," Steven Goldberg, a spokesman for the former governor, said in a statement. "The CFTC has not alleged that Mr. Corzine engaged in any wrongdoing or directed anyone to engage in any wrongdoing with regard to customer funds."

The Times, citing unidentified law enforcement officials, said the agency told Corzine's lawyers it plans to file the case without giving him an opportunity to settle, which may result in a protracted legal fight.

The commission probably will blame the former CEO for not preventing MF Global's misuse of customer money, without directly linking him to the disappearance of more than $1 billion in client funds in the firm's final days, the newspaper said.

Criminal investigators concluded that porous risk controls at the firm, rather than fraud, allowed the customer money to disappear, the newspaper said, citing law enforcement officials with knowledge of the case.