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Judge sets Jan. 31 sentencing for brokerage CEO

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) -- A judge has scheduled a Jan. 31 sentencing for Russ Wasendorf Sr., who has admitted guilt to a $200 million fraud scheme that bankrupted his Iowa-based brokerage.

U.S. District Judge Linda Reade set the sentencing date Monday for the founder of Peregrine Financial Group. She directed Wasendorf's lawyer and prosecutors to file memorandums that may recommend Wasendorf's possible sentence by next week.

Wasendorf's been jailed since pleading guilty to misusing $200 million in customer funds in September. Prosecutors say Wasendorf's fraud lasted 20 years and he lied to regulators to cover it up. They've suggested the 64-year-old will likely spend the rest of his life in prison.

Reade has a reputation for tough sentences. In another financial fraud case, she sentenced a former kosher slaughterhouse executive to a 27-year term.