On Friday, the former chief executive of Peregrine Financial had a lawsuit filed against him and his former wife, according to Reuters. In the lawsuit, Russell Wasendorf Sr. said that some of the $100 million he stole from the firm’s clients went to pay for his divorce from his wife.
The lawsuit is asking for $2.9 million of the money that was made in divorce payments and the disallowance of Wasendorf’s former wife’s bankruptcy court claims for an added $2.4 million. That total is money she claims she is still owed from the divorce.
Wasendorf has pled guilty to embezzlement and is still waiting to be sentenced, which will come on Thursday in Iowa. When he tried to commit suicide last July, his firm went into bankruptcy. Prosecutors working the case claim he stole $215 million from the firm’s clients over the 20 years his firm was in business. They hope they can keep Wasendorf in jail for the rest of his life.
Investigators said that Wasendorf spent the money on a luxury apartment in Chicago, a private plane, and to pay regulatory fines. A lawsuit filed by Peregrine Financial trustee Ira Bodenstein, said that the money was also used to divorce Connie Wasendorf. The divorce became final on December 30, 2010.
“On December 31, 2010, Wasendorf fraudulently authorized a transfer from the Customer Seg Account to Defendant in the amount of $2,469,692, and such transfer was received by Defendant on the same day,” the lawsuit said. The bank account was supposed to be for customer money.
Bodenstein said that Wasendorf used the money to pay his wife $20,000 per month for over a year. Bodenstein noted that Connie did not do any work for the money. Those payments were part of the divorce settlement and totaled $360,000. In the lawsuit, Bodenstein said that Connie refuses to return the $2.5 million lump payment from the divorce. The payment was made in December of 2010.