August 14, 2012 / 10:03 PM / 6 years ago

Peregrine's indicted CEO set to face judge on Friday

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Russell Wasendorf Sr., the founder and chief executive of failed brokerage Peregrine Financial Group, is set to appear before a judge on Friday after being indicted on 31 separate charges of methodically lying to regulators.

Wasendorf will be formally read the charges against him in a courtroom in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he is being held in a county jail, according to a court notice issued on Tuesday. Defendants typically enter a plea at such hearings, known as an arraignment.

Wasendorf overstated the amount of customer funds at his brokerage by tens of millions of dollars in faked monthly and yearly reports to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the indictment on Monday said.

The CFTC has said Wasendorf also misappropriated more than $200 million in customer funds.

Futures brokerages are required to submit financial data on a monthly basis to the CFTC, and the reports are then published on the regulator’s website.

The indictment carries a possible maximum sentence of 155 years in prison, a $7.75 million fine, and 93 years of supervised release following any imprisonment, the U.S. Attorney’s office said.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Iowa, which is prosecuting Wasendorf, did not immediately respond to a call for comment.

The public defender representing Wasendorf could not be reached for comment.

Reporting by Tom Polansek in Chicago and Ann Saphir in San Francisco; Editing by Gary Crosse

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