Peregrine Financial ex-CEO's sentencing likely in early 2013

CHICAGO Mon Nov 5, 2012 1:34pm EST

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Peregrine Financial Group's former chief executive, who confessed to bilking customers of his futures brokerage out of more than $100 million, will likely be sentenced in the first part of next year, the U.S. Attorney's Office said on Monday.

Peregrine Financial, known as PFGBest, filed for bankruptcy on July 10, a day after then-Chief Executive Russell Wasendorf Sr. attempted suicide and confessed to stealing from customers for nearly 20 years.

Wasendorf, 64, was arrested on July 13 and in September pleaded guilty to mail fraud, lying to regulators and embezzling customer funds, crimes that could send him to prison for as many as 50 years.

Information about the sentencing was included on a form distributed to gather information about how victims were financially and emotionally affected by Wasendorf's crime. It was the first update on when he will learn his punishment.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Iowa released the rough timeline as a guide for victims who may want to attend the sentencing. The office said it could not provide more specific details.

The public defender representing Wasendorf, who is in jail awaiting his sentencing, has declined to comment.

(Reporting By Tom Polansek; editing by Jim Marshall)

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