Iowa broker linked to Trevor Cook Ponzi scheme admits to fraud

Russell Wasendorf Sr., founder and CEO of Cedar Falls-based Peregrine Financial Group, faces up to 50 years in prison under a plea deal, the Des Moines Register reports. The 64-year-old has agreed to plead guilty to mail fraud, embezzling customer funds and making false statements to regulators.
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Russell Wasendorf Sr., founder and CEO of Cedar Falls-based Peregrine Financial Group, faces up to 50 years in prison under a plea deal, the Des Moines Register reports. The 64-year-old has agreed to plead guilty to mail fraud, embezzling customer funds and making false statements to regulators.

The Business Journal notes Wasendorf's brokerage firm played a prominent role in Twin Cities investor Trevor Cook's massive international Ponzi scheme.

Cook plead guilty to fraud in 2010 and is serving a 25 year sentence in federal prison.

Three other men, Jason "Bo" Beckman, Gerald Durand and Patrick Kiley, were also convicted for their role in carrying out Minnesota's second-largest Ponzi scheme that cheated more than 700 people out of $194 million.

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