Home News News Blog Crooked CEO Gets 50 Years for Stealing $215 Million

Crooked CEO Gets 50 Years for Stealing $215 Million

Russell Wasendorf, Sr. was a successful CEO of his own futures brokerage firm and a respected member of his community, creating jobs and supporting local charities. Or so it seemed.

Feb 15, 2013 11:30 AM

Crooked CEO Gets 50 Years for Stealing $215 Million


He was a successful CEO of his own futures brokerage firm and a respected member of his community, creating jobs and supporting local charities.

Or so it seemed. For years, Russell Wasendorf, Sr.—as Acting U.S. Attorney Sean R. Berry of the Northern District of Iowa recently put it—was really a “con man who built a business on smoke and mirrors.”

It all fell apart in July 2012 when Wasendorf—after an unsuccessful suicide attempt—admitted stealing millions from more than 13,000 investors who had entrusted their hard-earned money to him and his company, the now bankrupt Peregrine Financial Group, based in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Last month, Wasendorf was sentenced by a federal judge to 50 years in prison—the maximum sentence allowed by law—and ordered to pay restitution to his victims.

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