Peregrine Financial’s Founder Made Wrong Choices in Another High Profile Breach-Of-Integrity Scandal

February 16th, 2013
Jim Thomas

On February 1, the Wall Street Journal reported yet another outrage in the brokerage, futures, and securities industries. Russell Wasendorf Sr., founder of Peregrine Financial Group in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, admitted improper use of client funds and deceiving regulators. Losses are expected to total $190 million. The executive’s son accused his father of making “poor choices.”

Performance with Integrity necessitates the deliberate choice. The individual, the company, the partnership, the organization elects to do the right thing, at the right time, for the right ideas.

Right choices include upholding the accepted standard of the industry, firm, group, profession. Of his own volition, Wasendorf chose to breach a sacrosanct standard of the futures industry by diverting client funds for personal use. He also admitted to running a Ponzi scheme

In his influential book, Your Greatest Power, Psychologist J. Martin Kohe writes that the power to choose is the greatest single power of the human psyche.
A pre-determined choice, that is key. One cannot know the proper route to take without first thinking about it. Not necessarily the superior choice, but—by all means—avoidance of the wrong choice.

The Wassendorf breach had devastating consequences. Peregrine is in bankruptcy. His clients have lost millions, and he himself faces ruin and prison. Russell Wasendorf, Jr., chief operations officer, stated “My father’s poor choices shattered my family, ruined my reputation, fractured my marriage, and separated me from my oldest son and close friends.”

But all is not rotten in America. It is full of good people—noble, selfless, generous people. They push when others call for retreat. Their lives professions, and businesses are standing monuments to Performance with Integrity.

ATTENTION. If you are interested in advancing the cause of Integrity in America. If you seek benefits and pay-offs of greater integrity in your occupation, organization, profession, or enterprise, join The Alliance for Integrity on Facebook at

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