CHICAGO - Earlier this week, Illinois Review reported on the CEO of a once Chicago-based brokerage firm attempted to commit suicide as the feds moved in and revealed only $5 million where $220 million was claimed to be held.
Friday, Russell Wasendorf Sr of PFGBest in Cedar Falls, Iowa was arrested when he admitted to law enforcement officials that the suicide note he left for his wife detailing $100 million in fraud he had committed was accurate. Law enforcement released portions of the note's contents in the criminal complaint. Britain's Daily Mail writes:
An affidavit by FBI agent William Langdon, made public with the criminal complaint, says authorities found Wasendorf unresponsive on Monday in his vehicle, along with a suicide note addressed to his wife and a signed statement in which he detailed his fraud.
'Through a scheme of using false bank statements I have been able to embezzle millions of dollars from customer accounts at Peregrine Financial Group, Inc.
'The forgeries started nearly twenty years ago and have gone undetected until now. I was able to conceal my crime of forgery by being the sole individual with access to the US Bank accounts held by PFG,' he wrote in the note, according to court documents.
Wasendorf said that he faced 'a difficult decision' when his access to capital was limited earlier in his career.
'Should I go out of business or cheat? I guess my ego was too big to admit failure,' he wrote. 'So I cheated, I falsified the very core of the financial documents of PFG, the bank statements.'
Wasendorf said he used computer software, scanners and printers to 'make very convincing forgeries of nearly every document that came from the bank', including statements, letters and other correspondence, the affidavit says.
Although Wasendorf moved PFGBest from Chicago three years ago, he remains active in Chicago financial and social circles.