Troubled brokerage files for Ch. 7 liquidation

Troubled brokerage Peregrine files for bankruptcy following fraud charges

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Iowa-based brokerage firm that has been unable to account for $220 million in customer money is filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection.

Peregrine Financial Group filed in a Chicago court the same day that it was accused of fraud by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. The CFTC said Peregrine and its founder had misused customer funds and failed to keep them separate from company money.

The founder, Russell Wasendorf Sr., attempted suicide Monday and was discovered in his car in the company's parking lot with a suicide note. That note prompted investigators to notify the FBI, which is conducting a preliminary inquiry.

The bankruptcy petition filed Tuesday was signed by Wasendorf's son, Russell Wasendorf Jr. The younger Wasendorf was the company's president and chief operating officer.

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