by Beth Connolly on July 13, 2012
Dealbook published an article that helps to answer that question, which surely has been on the minds of not only the investors who lost their money in the PFGBest scandal, but also anyone reading the news about the futures brokerage that allegedly misrepresented a bank account balance to regulators to the tune of $215 million.
Apparently, regulators ignored or misread warning signs beginning as early as 2004, according to the piece:
In 2004, a Peregrine client sent a letter to the National Futures Association, the firm’s primary regulator, and the C.F.T.C., asking it to intervene to prevent the firm from misusing its customers’ money, according to a person with knowledge of the correspondence and a copy of the letter obtained by The New York Times. Five years later, a tipster wrote to the N.F.A. asking it to review Peregrine’s bank account information for accuracy, according to people briefed on the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation was private. The tip was anonymous, and it is unclear how seriously the N.F.A. took it.
The auditor for Peregrine was a one-person shop run out of the accountant’s home in Glendale Heights, Ill., a Chicago suburb. As part of its investigation, the C.F.T.C. is looking into the role that the individual played, according to a person with knowledge of the case.
After the collapse of MF Global, the C.F.T.C. ordered a review of all futures firms to ensure the safety of customer money. The N.F.A. — where Mr. Wasendorf serves on an advisory committee — gave Peregrine a clean bill of health in January.
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