The head of Iowa-based Peregrine Financial Group is facing up to 50 years in jail for his role in stealing customer funds from his investment firm.
A federal judge will sentence Russell Wasendorf Sr. on January 31. Prosecutors say that he stole more than $215 million from the firm he founded and led over almost two decades, falsifying financial statements to conceal his thefts, Bloomberg noted.
Though he pleaded guilty to lying to federal officials and mail fraud, Wasendorf maintains that the now-bankrupt Peregrine’s losses were less than $200 million. That is vigorously contested by prosecutors who say they can account for the firm’s losses and that the final toll is much higher.
Trouble at Peregrine became public after Wasendorf was found in his car outside the firm’s Cedar Fall’s headquarters in August, having apparently attempted suicide. He had left a note confessing to his theft.