The CEO of a Chicago- and Iowa-based brokerage now under investigation by the FBI and CFTC for misplacing customer funds was found in his car with a tube hooked into the vehicle’s exhaust pipe, the Chicago Sun-Times’ David Roeder reports. There remain conflicting reports about the condition of Russell Wasendorf Sr., CEO of Peregrine Financial Group, following his apparent suicide attempt Monday morning.
The firm has been charged with filing misleading financial reports about a $200 million shortfall in customer-segregated funds.
The investigation began when Wasendorf was discovered in PFGBest’s parking lot in rural Cedar Falls, Iowa, according to local reports.
A secretary noticed Wasendorf was not parked in his usual parking spot, according to one account.
Immediately thereafter, the National Futures Association, PFG’s regulator, says it received information that Wasendorf may have committed fraud.
Although the CFTC’s formal complaint against Peregrine Financial, filed yesterday, states Wasendorf is in a coma, Roeder writes that a company spokeswoman said he was conscious.
Meanwhile, a company email announced Peregrine Financial would file for Chapter 7 liquidation, Roeder reports. It is not clear whether PFGBest, which operates Peregrine Financial, would also file.
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