Published January 31, 2013
CEDAR RAPIDS – Russell Wasendorf Sr., who admitted looting more than $100 million from broker Peregrine Financial Group in a scheme that shook confidence in the U.S. futures industry, was sentenced to 50 years behind bars on Thursday.
Wasendorf was ordered to pay $215.5 million in restitution.
The sentence came six months after Wasendorf, 64, botched a suicide attempt outside his now-defunct brokerage's $24-million headquarters in Cedar Falls, Iowa, and confessed to bilking tens of thousands of customers over nearly 20 years.
Prosecutors argued that Wasendorf stole more than $215 million, using little more than a rented post office box, Photoshop and inkjet printers to fake bank statements and dupe regulators.
(Reporting By P.J. Huffstutter, Writing By Tom Polansek; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)