18 Sep 2012

Broker admits massive fraud in Iowa

11:03 pm on 18 September 2012

The founder of a United States finance company has pleaded guilty to a fraud involving 24,000 customers in the state of Iowa.

The embezzlement, totalling more than $US100 million, began 20 years ago.

Russell Wasendorf, 64, was once regarded as a noble figure who supported a range of healthcare and educational institutions, the BBC reports.

He now faces at least 24 years in jail.

In court, Wasendorf pleaded guilty to charges including mail fraud, embezzling customer funds and making false statements to two regulatory agencies.

The company he built up over 30 years, Peregrine Financial Group, is being dismantled by receivers who will attempt to refund some of the money taken.