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U.S. Bancorp Sued Over Role In Fraud-DJ

Wednesday, 5 Jun 2013 07:20pm EDT 

Dow Jones reported that U.S. regulators sued a unit of U.S. Bancorp for allegedly facilitating the embezzlement of customer funds by the jailed founder of Peregrine Financial Group Inc., the collapsed futures brokerage. The civil charges filed by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission against U.S. Bancorp's U.S. Bank unit revolve around the bank's oversight of accounts used by Peregrine founder and Chief Executive Russell Wasendorf Sr. to siphon client funds from the firm over a period of almost 20 years. The CFTC alleged that U.S. Bank knowingly allowed and facilitated Mr. Wasendorf's transfers of millions of dollars of customer funds out of the account to pay for his private jet, his restaurant and divorce settlement, according to the complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa. Customer funds also were used as collateral on loans to fund Peregrine's $20 million headquarters building in Cedar Falls, Iowa, according to the complaint. U.S. Bank said in a statement that the charges were without merit and that it was a victim of the same fraud one that the CFTC failed to detect. The complaint doesn't accuse U.S. Bank of direct knowledge of the fraud, but alleges the bank indirectly aided Mr. Wasendorf's misuse of funds by failing to protect customer money. 

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