Russell Wasendorf Sr.’s court- appointed receiver asked a federal judge to set a Dec. 17 deadline to file claims against the Peregrine Financial Group Inc. founder and other businesses he controlled.
Receiver Michael Eidelman yesterday separately asked U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer in Chicago for permission to sell Wasendorf’s four shotguns, three rifles and a pistol.
The guns were recovered from Wasendorf’s Cedar Falls, Iowa, home by agents of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation on July 9 after the commodity firm executive attempted suicide by asphyxiation in his car outside Peregrine’s offices.
Eidelman was appointed receiver as part of a lawsuit filed July 10 in which the Commodity Futures Trading Commission accused Wasendorf and Peregrine of misappropriating more than $200 million in client funds.
The firm filed for U.S. Bankruptcy Court liquidation in Chicago later that day. Wasendorf has since been charged with 31 counts of making false statements to federal officials. He has pleaded not guilty.
A Cedar Falls gun dealer has offered $2,065 for the collection, which includes a Beretta nine-millimeter pistol, a 12-gauge Browning shotgun and a .22-caliber Marlin rifle. Eidelman told the court he intends to sell the weapons to the highest legally qualified bidder.
As receiver, the Vedder Price PC partner has control over Wasendorf’s property and businesses. They include an Italian restaurant, a construction company and a book publisher.
Eidelman told the court that in setting a deadline and forcing claimants to come forward, he can learn who Wasendorf’s creditors are and whether the Peregrine founder’s business records are accurate.
Pallmeyer is to hear argument on both requests tomorrow as well as a separate bid to recover $50,000 that Wasendorf’s stepdaughter, Elisabeth Paladino, withdrew from one of his accounts on the day of his suicide attempt.
“The only obstacle raised by Elisabeth concerning the return of the funds is the tax implications of a voluntary surrender,” according to Eidelman’s court filing. That shouldn’t prevent the turnover, he said.
Paladino’s attorney, William Scherle of Des Moines, Iowa, declined to comment on the effort to recover any money from his client. The attorney confirmed an Associated Press report that Paladino’s mother, Nancy, is seeking an annulment of her June 30 marriage to Wasendorf from a Las Vegas court.
The case is U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission v. Peregrine Financial Group Inc., 12-cv-05383, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois (Chicago).
The bankruptcy case is In re Peregrine Financial Group Inc., 12-27488, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Illinois (Chicago). The criminal case is U.S. v. Wasendorf, 12- cr-2021, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Iowa (Waterloo).
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