Reuters special report: Wasendorf embezzlement
Thursday, September 27, 2012 2:32 PM
The story of the fraud perpetrated by Cedar Falls brokerage founder Russell Wasendorf Sr. has grabbed national headlines. Here is the first part of a Reuters story about the Iowan, who has pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $100 million from customers of his futures brokerage, lying to regulators to cover his tracks, and mail fraud.
A small-town Iowa boy, raised in hard times by a widowed mother, starts a business in the back room of a barber shop before setting out to the big city. He strikes it rich and returns years later to local glory, spending lavishly and savoring his role as the big man in a little town.
It's a real story, but as became clear this summer, a dark thread ran through it. For most of the two-decade life of Peregrine Financial Group, a leading independentfutures brokerage, founder and chief executive Russell Wasendorf Sr. was taking hundreds of millions of dollars of his customers' money to cover losses and live large.
Read the full story.