Peregrine Financial CEO waives right to hearing
(Reuters) - Peregrine Financial Group Chief Executive Russell Wasendorf Sr., arrested earlier this month after he confessed to stealing money from his customers for years, has waived his right to a preliminary hearing in his criminal case.
The hearing, scheduled for Friday, would have given him the chance to request a release from jail on bond. It was canceled at Wasendorf's request, according to an order entered by federal Judge Leonard Strand on Thursday. No new hearing date has been set.
Wasendorf, 64, was arrested July 13 after an attempted suicide five days earlier and the revelation, in a signed confession, that he had tricked regulators by faking bank statements and had stolen money from his customers.
Peregrine has filed for bankruptcy, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission has sued both the firm and Wasendorf, alleging they misappropriated more than $200 million in customer funds.
The bankruptcy trustee earlier this week hired a team of forensic accountants to trace the money, and a receiver for Wasendorf has begun the process of trying to secure and sell the jailed CEO's jet, homes and other assets to raise money to help pay back creditors and customers.
The criminal case is U.S. v. Wasendorf, 12-mj-00131, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Iowa (Cedar Rapids).
(Reporting by Ann Saphir; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and John Wallace)
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