WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission announced Tuesday the filing of a complaint against Peregrine Financial Group Inc., a registered futures commission merchant, and owner Russell R. Wasendorf, Sr.

PFG and Wasendorf have been accused of misappropriating customer funds, violating customer fund segregation laws, and making false statements in financial statements filed with the CFTC.

According to the complaint, during a National Futures Association audit this month, PFG falsely represented that it held in excess of $220 million of customer funds when, in fact, it held approximately $5.1 million.

The NFA is PFG's Designated Self-Regulatory Organization and is responsible for monitoring and auditing PFG for compliance with the minimum financial and related reporting requirements.

The CFTC action alleges that from at least February 2010 through the present, PFG and Wasendorf did not keep adequate customer funds in segregated accounts as required by law. The CFTC further alleges that defendants made false statements in filings.

The CFTC wants a restraining order to freeze assets, appoint a receiver and preserve records. Further, the litigation seeks restitution, disgorgement and civil monetary penalties.

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