Another Capitalist Swindler Goes Down – the PFGBest Scandal Rips Off $200 Million and Counting

Calling all authors!

A Secret Vegas Marriage!… A Wealthy Stock Broker’s Botched Suicide!… Angry Iowan Farmers Demanding Their Money!…$200 Million Dollars Gone!

This would look good on the cover of a cheap romance novel or a detective story… but it’s just another all too real case of a swindler-capitalist who defrauded thousands of people out of their hard-earned money and took it away to where the sun don’t shine.

PFGBest is the name of this newest stock-brokerage-gone-rogue.  We should say WAS the name, because PFGBest is no more.  It has gone into the cornfield from whence it shall never return.  The Twilight Zone.  Leaving employees stunned and investors penniless.  And it’s highly unlikely that any of those investors – many of whom had transferred their accounts to PFGBest directly from MF Global, which screwed them out of $1.6 BILLION just last October! –  will ever see a single one of those pennies ever again!

This past Monday, unpleasant news reached the trading desks at PFGBest’s Cedar Falls, Iowa headquarters: their company’s founder, Russell R. Wasendorf, Sr. had been taken to a hospital in Iowa, having failed at a suicide attempt.  He was reported to be in “critical condition”.

An obviously shaken Russell Wasendorf Jr. held an impromptu meeting of employees at the firm’s headquarters to break the bad news.  A suicide note had been left, he said, and he related a partial account of its contents.   “He sounded like he was in some other world” one employee recalled just hours later.  Wasendorf Jr. had said that there had been some accounting irregularities found at the firm.

When the younger Wasendorf had finished speaking, some employees went back to their desks and began packing up their personal belongings.  It was all too obvious to them what it all meant.  “Pretty much everyone around here said we’re doomed.”  And that was the truth.

The PFGBest website still touts their dead operation; apparently when the employees left, they “forgot” to turn off the company’s web servers.

“Got Gold Fever?” one ad reads.  “For as little as $50/month you can invest in gold and silver.  It only takes minutes to sign up.”

“How much will you need to retire?” asks another ad.  “Learn how to invest a small piece of your investment pie into alternative investments.”

Source: The Chicago Tribune and Reuters: “Broker PFGBest freezes funds after founder’s suicide attempt“;

“Vegas marriage deepens mystery as Iowa brokers pack“; “PFGBest scandal deals farmers another blow after MF Global“;

“U.S. grain trade wants answers in PFGBest broker scandal“.

Ah, the American Dream!  Long Live Capitalism!  All your monies are belong to us, children!

Unbelievably, the PFGBest website still lives, as if trapped in amber! Check it out!

Everything seems to still be functioning.  Perhaps they have the whole site “in the cloud” and it’ll keep running until someone (who?) shuts it down or the subscription to the service expires.  We even downloaded a copy of “PFGBest Outlook 2012” tonight from the site.  But when we tried to open an account online, we got the first sign that things ain’t quite right in Moneyland: “This functionality is currently disabled.”

[To Be Continued]


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