CEO Of Collapsed Brokerage Embezzled Hundreds Of Millions In Customer Funds Because Regulators Were Mean

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The note and the statement, which a person familiar with the situation said were left by Peregrine Chief Executive Russell Wasendorf Sr., blames the fraud on "mean spirited" regulators that dogged his firm, saying they were looking to put firms out of business rather than protect commodities investors. The statement also said that deceiving the regulators was "relatively simple." [WSJ via BI, earlier]

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Russell Wasendorf Didn't Mean "I have embezzled millions of dollars from Customer accounts at Peregrine Financial" In A Literal Sense

Remember Russell Wasendorf? CEO of collapsed brokerage firm Peregrine Financial Group? Dirty blonde hair, about yea high? Opened his (attempted) suicide note with the words "I have committed fraud" and then went on to detail said fraud, writing: "Through a scheme of using false bank statements I have been able to embezzle millions of dollars from customer accounts at Peregrine Financial Group, Inc. The forgeries started nearly twenty years ago and have gone undetected until now. I was able to conceal my crime of forgery by being the sole individual with access to the US Bank accounts held by PFG. No one else in the company ever saw an actual US Bank statement.The Bank statements were always delivered directly to me when they arrived in the mail. I made counterfeit statements within a few hours of receiving the actual statements and gave the forgeries to the accounting department.” Using a combination of Photo Shop, Excel, scanners, and both laser and ink jet printers I was able to make very convincing forgeries of nearing every document that came from the Bank. I could create forgeries very quickly so no one suspected that my forgeries were not the real thing that had just arrived in the mail." ...apparently he was just kidding about all that and/or intended it to be read in more of an If I Did It style. The chief executive of Peregrine Financial Group Inc. on Friday pleaded not guilty to all 31 charges he faced of misleading federal market authorities as part of a long-running alleged fraud. Russell Wasendorf Sr., the head of the collapsed U.S. futures and currency brokerage, was formally charged this past week with 31 counts of misleading regulators, offenses that carry a maximum sentence of 155 years. It is one of the heaviest penalties sought in the wake of the last financial crisis. No further questions. Peregrine's Wasendorf Pleads Not Guilty [WSJ]

Phil Falcone Will Borrow Hundreds Of Millions Of Dollars From Any Gated Investor Fund He Pleases

Phil Falcone, as some of you may know, has made some mistakes in the last couple years. Pouring his investors' money into a wireless start-up that may or may not ever get off the ground. Offering those who wanted out illiquid LightSquared equity instead of cash. Not getting his wife a driver for party-time.  If you're wondering why we haven't mentioned the time he borrowed $113 million from a gated fund in order to pay personal taxes, which he had not set aside enough money to cover, it's because Phil doesn't count it as a mistake, regardless of what you, or the SEC, or anyone else says. Hedge-fund manager Philip Falcone and his firm, Harbinger Capital Partners LLC, formally signaled their intent to seek the dismissal of fraud charges filed against them earlier this year by securities regulators, according to people familiar with the case. In June, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed civil charges accusing Mr. Falcone of putting his own interests, including maintaining a "lavish lifestyle," ahead of those of Harbinger's investors. The agency accused Mr. Falcone, Harbinger and Harbinger's former operating chief, Peter Jenson, of misleading investors and an outside law firm when Mr. Falcone took out a $113.2 million loan in 2009 from a Harbinger fund to pay his personal taxes, even as other investors in the fund were prevented from pulling their money. Lawyers for Mr. Falcone and Harbinger sent a letter to Judge Paul Crotty of U.S. District Court in Manhattan Friday, the deadline for responding to the SEC's complaint, saying they intended to seek dismissal, the people said. The letter also summarized arguments for the dismissal. Mr. Jenson also filed a letter Friday through his lawyers saying he intended to seek dismissal of the complaint. Representatives of Mr. Falcone and Harbinger have said before they planned to fight the allegations. In negotiations with securities regulators leading up to the charges, they had argued that Mr. Falcone and Harbinger were simply following sound advice from their legal counsel. Which, for those who missed it, was: “[L]ending money to principals is not part of the fund’s investment program” and "a loan . . . will never be a good idea" and "[We are] unequivocally against the loan idea for a number of reasons." Falcone To Seek Case's Dismissal [WSJ] Earlier: Phil Falcone’s Alleged Piggish Behavior Made Him Some Enemies

Phil Falcone Maintains 'Absolute Lawfulness' Of Lending Himself A Hundred Mill From Investor Fund

Remember, back in 2009, when Phil Falcone realized he'd forgotten to set aside enough cash to cover his taxes and came up with the idea to loan himself the money from a gated investor fund? And investors got all bent out of shape about it and the SEC did too? If the former was looking for some sort of an apology and the latter was looking for some show of groveling (in an attempt to avoid paying a fine/have a judge rule he can't come within 200 feet of a public company sorry), sorry, 'cause Phil's not sorry.