Peregrine Financial's ex-CEO faces January 31 sentencing

Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:09pm EST

Peregrine Financial Group's former Chief Executive Russell Wasendorf Sr. wears an anti-suicide tunic following his arrest on charges of lying to federal regulators in Cedar Falls, Iowa July 2012. To match Special Report WASENDORF LIFE/TWO REUTERS/Linn County Jail/Handout

Peregrine Financial Group's former Chief Executive Russell Wasendorf Sr. wears an anti-suicide tunic following his arrest on charges of lying to federal regulators in Cedar Falls, Iowa July 2012. To match Special Report WASENDORF LIFE/TWO

Credit: Reuters/Linn County Jail/Handout

(Reuters) - Peregrine Financial Group's former chief executive, who pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $100 million from customers of his futures brokerage, will be sentenced on January 31, according to court documents filed on Monday.

Russell Wasendorf Sr., 64, who founded the now-defunct firm, faces a potential maximum sentence of 50 years in prison after pleading guilty in September to mail fraud, lying to regulators and embezzling customer money.

Wasendorf has been awaiting sentencing in a jail in Iowa, where Peregrine Financial was based. The January 31 hearing is in U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Wasendorf's life unraveled in July when he attempted to kill himself and confessed in a suicide note to bilking customers over nearly 20 years.

Peregrine Financial, known as PFGBest, quickly collapsed and thousands of former customers are still missing money.

Meanwhile, bills from lawyers and accountants working to help a court-appointed bankruptcy trustee figure out what remains at the failed brokerage are rolling in.

PricewaterhouseCoopers, one of the world's largest accounting firms, submitted a bill for $1.6 million for about 4,239 hours of work between July 22 and October 31, according to a filing in Peregrine's bankruptcy case on Monday.

PwC continues to provide financial advisory services in the case, documents said.

On Friday, Shaw Fishman Glantz & Towbin, the law firm representing Trustee Ira Bodenstein, submitted a bill for $671,417 for 1,508 hours of work between July 10 and October 31, according to court documents.

(Reporting By Tom Polansek in Chicago; Editing by Grant McCool)

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