TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Financier who stole $215 million gets 50 years

About The Tribune-Review
The Tribune-Review can be reached via e-mail or at 412-321-6460.
Contact Us | Video | Photo Reprints

Daily Photo Galleries


By The Des Moines Register

Published: Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013, 9:58 p.m.

DES MOINES — A judge sentenced disgraced financier Russell Wasendorf, the head of Peregrine Financial Group, to 50 years in prison on Thursday for stealing $215 million from more than 13,000 customers over a 20-year period.

Wasendorf, 64, would be at least 107 years old by the time he's eligible for release.

Wasendorf pilfered customer funds to live a lavish lifestyle and expand the business, which prosecutors said was never profitable on its own.

Investor confidence in the sanctity of the $37 trillion futures market was shaken by details of the scam that were contained in suicide notes discovered after Wasendorf's botched attempt to take his own life July 9.

“This is a very serious offense with staggering affects to the victims and ripple effects,” said U.S. District Judge Linda Reade in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. “The sentence I impose must be a deterrent to others.”

Federal sentences are only reduced by a maximum of 15 percent for good behavior, which means that Wasendorf must serve a minimum of 42.5 years before being eligible for release. Reade noted that his victims included 13,000 investors and more than 200 employees.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. Recovery expert believes wreckage of missing plane located
  2. 150-plus birds seized at fighting venue in W.Va.
  3. Authorities say they have trove of evidence against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in Boston Marathon bombing
  4. Study says regular pot use affects the brain
  5. Immigration activists threaten Obama, Democrats
  6. Few Atlantic hurricanes predicted
  7. Android systems running 4.1.1 softward carry Heartbleed bug
  8. Bankrupt Detroit, retired cops, fire crews agree to deal that saves pensions
  9. U.S. to have front-row seat for lunar eclipse
  10. Christie ‘nervous’ as scandal pointed to aides
  11. Subsitute for Pap smear scorned; overtreatment cited
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.