PFGBest founder arrested, confesses to fraud

Russel Wasendorf Sr. (RICK CHASE / Waterloo Courier Staff Photographer) Russel Wasendorf Sr. (RICK CHASE / Waterloo Courier Staff Photographer)

Peregrine Financial Group Inc. Chief Executive Officer Russell Wasendorf said in a signed statement linked to his suicide attempt that he perpetrated a fraud at hisCedar Falls, Iowa-based company that stretched back two decades, according to a federal complaint.

Wasendorf was charged by U.S. prosecutors with making false statements to federal regulators and is to appear in court later today in Cedar Rapids.

Peregrine filed for bankruptcy a day after the National Futures Association said it identified a shortfall of about $200 million in customer funds on deposit.

Its bankruptcy petition lists more than $500 million in assets and more than $100 million in liabilities. The broker estimates it has more than 10,000 creditors, according to the filing.

The bankruptcy case is Peregrine Financial Group Inc., 12- 27488, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Illinois (Chicago). The regulatory case is U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission v. Peregrine Financial Group Inc., 12-cv-5383, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois.

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