Futures firm PFG collapses amid fraud accusations

By Agence France-Presse
Wednesday, July 11, 2012 17:32 EDT
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NEW YORK — US futures brokerage Peregrine Financial Group filed for bankruptcy protection late Tuesday amid fraud allegations by regulators and after its founder attempted suicide.

PFG, also known as PFG Best, filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which involves the sale of assets to pay off creditors.

The liquidation filing in an Illinois bankruptcy court came a day after the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission sued PFG and its sole owner and chief executive, Russell Wasendorf.

The CFTC alleged they falsified information in filings and overstated the company’s bank deposits, leaving a shortfall that currently, and has previously since 2010, exceeded $200 million.

In the complaint, the CFTC alleged that PFG and Wasendorf — who it is said tried to commit suicide on Monday — “failed to maintain adequate customer funds in segregated accounts.”

The CFTC alleged that PFG and Wasendorf used funds for purposes other than those intended by its customers, and said “the whereabouts of the funds is currently unknown.”

On Monday the National Futures Association (NFA), responsible for monitoring PFG for compliance with reporting requirements, took an emergency enforcement action against PFG and Peregrine Asset Management.

The NFA blocked new or additional customer accounts or funds, alleging PFG had failed to prove it had met capital and segregated funds requirements.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation said Tuesday it was reviewing the facts in the case.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
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