Client Money Disappears; CEO Attempts Suicide

The FBI is now investigating the Peregrine Financial Group, a broker of commodity futures, which reported the whereabouts of $220 million of client money is unknown. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission filed in federal court to freeze any remaining funds under the belief the missing money was “misappropriated by the firm and its founder,” according to reporting by Matthew Leising and Andrew Harris.

On Monday the firm’s founder, CEO and sole owner, Russell Wassendorf Sr., tried to kill himself outside their Cedar Falls, Iowa offices. He is now in a coma after running a hose from his exhaust into his car interior.

The week before, Peregrine had told industry regulators they had $225 million in cash on deposit in the U.S. The regulator found only $5 million. They concluded CEO Wassendorf “may have falsified bank records,” the reporters’ Bloomberg article says.

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