The Wall Street Journal’s Michael Rothfeld and Jacob Bunge report that Russ Wasendorf Sr., the CEO of collapsed Chicago-based futures brokerage Peregrine Financial who attempted suicide once regulators caught wind of his alleged accounting fraud, spent of most of the $200 million missing from PFG customer accounts. “Most of the misappropriated funds went to maintain the increasing levels of Regulatory Capital to keep [Peregrine] in business and to pay business [losses],” said the signed suicide letter, which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
Rothfeld and Bunge write that Wasendorf says “mean spirited” regulators led him to commit fraud. .
“I have to say I don’t feel bad about deceiving the regulators,” the note said. “They made the decision to be my enemy.”
The pair also say a separate suicide note to his son, Russell Jr., says he was wrong to trust his father.