Former Wife of Former Peregrine CEO sued over Divorce Money
Russell Wasendorf used to be the CEO of the Peregrine Financial Company, based in Cedar Falls, Iowa. He was arrested for scamming over 24,000 customers for over 20 years for around $215 million. He wasn't caught by regulators until he left a suicide note admitting to his crimes but managed to live through his suicide attempt. He was sentenced to 50 years in prison for embezzlement on January 31st.
The money went to various extravagant purchases such as a private plane and a luxury Chicago apartment. He also used the money to try to keep his failing business afloat while opening a $24 million office in Cedar Falls. Recently, it was found that some of the money was used to divorce his wife of 24 years, Connie Wasendorf.
The divorce was finalized on December 30, 2010. A day later, Wasendorf transferred almost $2.5 million dollars from a company account into his ex-wife’s account. Wasendorf also paid his wife $20,000 a month for over a year from the company’s account even though she did very little to earn it.
Since Wasendorf was arrested, his company Peregrine Financial has declared for bankruptcy. The bankruptcy trustee, Ira Bodenstein, has decided to sue Connie Wasendorf to recoup the $2.5 million payment which was transferred on December 31st in 2010. At this point, Connie has refused to return the money stolen from Peregrine’s customers. Connie still claims that she is due more from the divorce settlement to the tune of $2.4 million.
As a married couple, both Connie and Russell had a part in creating a successful business which turned out to be fraudulent. Yet, high asset divorces are very complicated, especially when business valuations are needed. Employing an expert during the divorce process will make sure that the assets of a business are split equitably. Contact an experienced divorce attorney in Geneva who can work to an agreeable division for you and your spouse.