How’d we get here: Russell Wasendorf Sr’s path to the clink
Late last month, Russell Wasendorf Sr. was sentenced to 50 years in jail for stealing $215.5 million from 13,000 customers of his futures brokerage, Peregrine Financial Group. Here’s his path to the clink.
1980: Wasendorf opens Wasendorf and Son in Cedar Rapids.
Oct. 1987: Wasendorf makes a name for himself by shorting the futures market days before Black Monday.
1994: Wasendorf moves Peregrine to Chicago.
Oct. 27, 2003: Wasendorf complains that Chicago Board of Trade customers feel they are not “being dealt with fairly.”
2009: Peregrine builds $18 million headquarters in Cedar Falls.
July 9, 2012: Wasendorf attempts suicide outside Peregrine’s HQ.
July 10: Peregrine files for bankruptcy as regulators accuse it of holding only $5.1 million of the $220 million it had represented.
July 13: Wasendorf is arrested and charged with 31 counts of lying to federal investigators.
Sept.17: Wasendorf pleads guilty to mail fraud, embezzlement and lying to regulatory agencies.