Former Peregrine CEO Russell Wasendorf Gets 50 Years In Jail For Embezzling Hundreds Of Millions
By Eric Brown | February 1, 2013 11:25 AM EST
Former Peregrine Financial Group CEO Russell Wasendorf Sr. was sentenced to 50 years in prison Thursday on numerous fraud counts costing the brokerage and its clients hundreds of millions of dollars.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Wasendorf received the maximum sentence allowed by law for his scheme, which was carried out over nearly 20 years. He was also ordered to pay $215.5 million in restitution for his crimes, as nearly 24,000 former customers are still attempting to recoup the money they lost.
"I'm very sorry for the financial and emotional damage I've caused to investors and employees of Peregrine Financial Group," Wasendorf said Thursday at his sentencing hearing in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. "I feel I fully deserve whatever sentence I am given. My guilt is such I will accept that sentence."
As financial regulators worked to crack down on the conspiracy and expose his fraud throughout 2012, Wasendorf, 64, attempted to kill himself outside of his lavish, $24 million headquarters in July. Reuters notes that investigators believed that the headquarters was financed almost entirely with money stolen from his company and consumers.
Wasendorf admitted in July that he had fleeced money from tens of thousands of customers over nearly 20 years by falsifying financial documents and lying to nearly everyone involved in the company, from financial regulators, to high-level employees, and even family memebers.
In September, Wasendorf admitted to stealing more than $100 million from the company, though prosecutors argued that the number was closer to $215 million. The judge clearly agreed, ordering Wasendorf to pay back $215.5 million to former customers.
After Wasendorf’s fraud was revealed, the firm quickly collapsed as investors and customers scrambled to get their money back. However, 24,000 investors and customers are still waiting to receive even a cent. Chief Judge Linda Reade of the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Iowa said that many may never receive the money that was stolen by Wasendorf.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Flight MH17 Attack: Russians Claim 'Putin A Terrorist,' Memorial at Dutch Embassy Overflows [PHOTOS]
- Typhoon Rammasun Claims 18 Lives in China, Incurs $4.32B Losses (PHOTOS)
- Ellen DeGeneres Caught Cheating with Mutual Friend Before Portia de Rossi’s Rehab – Reports [PHOTOS]
- Malaysia Airlines MH17: Vital Black Boxes Finally Land in Hands of Malaysian Authorities, Rebels Announce Ceasefire (PHOTOS/VIDEOS)
Join the Conversation
- China Military PLA Drills Affect Flights, Hundreds Cancelled
- Malaysia Airlines MH17: EU Feared Won't Ever Enforce Sanctions on Russia; All Talk, No Force
- Health Canada Orders Labeling of Mechanically Tenderized Beef Meat
- Reserve Bank of New Zealand Raises Interest Rates Due to 'Unsustainable' Kiwi
- Embattled Malaysia Airlines Could Run Out of Cash 2015; Diverts Plane Over Another War Zone After MH17 Crash
- Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Apps Leak Online, Five Fresh Features to Expect from the Android Smartphone
- Moto 360 Price Speculations, Key Features, Strategic Release Date, Design: A Watch That is More Than Just Time
- Windows Phone 8.1 Update Rollout: 20 Nokia Lumia Phones Eligible and 13 New Features to be Added
- Google Nexus 8 Release Date Soon Along with 2 More HTC Android Tablets – Reports
- Three New Moto G Successors Spotted in FCC Document Dubbed Moto G2, Moto M and More --Reports
- iPad Air 2 Release Date Will Skip IGZO Panel; To Rollout with Super-Slim iPad Mini Air
- Upcoming iPad Mini 3 Could be 30% Thinner and Likely be Called iPad Mini Air; Apple Q3 Results Show 9% Decrease in iPad Sales