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Saturday, July 14, 2012

PFGBest chief arrested, admits 20-year fraud, FBI says

English: FBI agents from the Washington Field ...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Russell Wasendorf Sr was arrested on Friday after allegedly stealing more than $100 million from clients of his now-bankrupt brokerage PFGBest, using little more than a rented P.O. Box, Photoshop and inkjet printers to dupe regulators for decades. In the dramatic conclusion to a week-long drama that has shaken trader confidence in the trillion-dollar U.S. futures markets, FBI agents arrested Wasendorf, 64, at the Iowa City hospital he was taken to after he tried to commit suicide on Monday, and they released parts of the detailed confession he had left.

In that signed statement, released as part of the criminal complaint, Wasendorf said he began forging bank documents after the business he built from his basement risked failing without additional capital. "I was forced into a difficult decision: Should I go out of business or cheat?" he wrote. He chose to cheat, and described the deceit that extended for nearly the entire life of his firm, known as PFGBest and formally named the Peregrine Financial Group. ... Continue to read.
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