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Wasendorf’s Chicago Lakefront Condo Sells for $1 Million

Wasendorf’s Chicago Condo on Lake Michigan Sells for $1 Million
Russell Wasendorf Sr., founder of the bankrupt commodities firm Peregrine Financial Group Inc., stands in Linn County, Iowa. Source: Linn County Sheriff's Department via Bloomberg

The Chicago condominium belonging to Russell Wasendorf Sr., the former futures brokerage executive who pleaded guilty to fraud in September, sold for $1 million, according to an attorney for the receiver in the case.

The deal for the two-bedroom, three-bathroom apartment was completed yesterday, said Randy Lending, the Chicago-based lawyer for Michael Eidelman, who was appointed to marshal and liquidate Wasendorf’s assets. The property overlooking Lake Michigan was purchased fully furnished, Lending said.

The penthouse apartment used to be owned by Ernie Banks, the former Chicago Cubs shortstop and member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, according to Vince D’Amico, a senior adviser with brokerage Sperry Van Ness, who handled the sale. The deal included some contents of the property, such as Wasendorf’s ties and belts, and a hat autographed by Banks, D’Amico said.

“It was eerie,” D’Amico said. “It was like he was there one day and gone the next.”

The unit has high ceilings, a recently updated kitchen and a den that could be converted to a third bedroom, according to the property listing. The starting bid on the unit was $975,000, D’Amico said. The buyers were a couple who have a home in a western suburb and paid cash for the condo, he said.

Peregrine Financial Group Inc., the commodities brokerage Wasendorf founded, is being liquidated after he admitted to stealing at least $100 million of client money. The embezzlement came to light after Wasendorf attempted suicide in July and was found with a signed statement confessing to more than 20 years of fraud.

The receiver also is planning to sell the $24 million custom headquarters Wasendorf built for Peregrine in Cedar Falls, Iowa. There has been “some interest” in the property, though a broker hasn’t yet been hired, Lending said.

Wasendorf moved Peregrine to Cedar Falls from Chicago, a five-hour drive east and the Midwest’s traditional financial center, in 2009.

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