Wasendorf, Sr. signs plea deal in Peregrine fraud case - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Wasendorf, Sr. signs plea deal in Peregrine fraud case


Prosecutors say Russell Wasendorf, Sr., the CEO of Peregrine Financial Group, signed a plea deal admitting to a $200 million fraud scheme.

As part of the deal, Wasendorf, Sr. will plead guilty to mail fraud, embezzling customer funds and two counts of making false statements to regulators. Prosecutors say Wasendorf could be sentenced to up to 50 years in prison.  His attorney says her client has not agreed to that sentence.

The details were released during a detention hearing in U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday.

The hearing was scheduled to discuss if Wasendorf would be released from jail pending his trial and what the conditions of that release would be.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Jon Scoles will rule on that matter later this week.

The 64-year-old has been in jail since July. Wasendorf, Sr. attempted to commit suicide on July 9, outside the Peregrine headquarters in Cedar Falls. Authorities say he left a suicide note detailing a fraud scheme that lasted 20 years.

After a federal investigation was initiated, it was released that as much as $200 million in customer segregated funds are missing from the financial company.

Peregrine Financial Group has since filed for bankruptcy.

Wasendorf was charged with 31 counts of using false documents. He had previously pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Powered by Frankly