In early July the CEO of Peregrine Financial Group, the 64-year-old Russell Wasendorf Sr., failed in an attempt to commit suicide. His reasons for the act were detailed in a signed confession where he admitted to years of embezzling over $200 million and falsifying documents to cover his tracks. This, of course, lead to an FBI raid on the company’s HQ in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
The company went under immediately following Wasendorf confession and declared bankruptcy. Now it’s up to the courts to sift through the 180-page document listing the company’s holdings. The list declared assets which included 172 ounces of gold and 1,528 sets of silver coins. The coins bear the image of popular TV icon, SpongeBob Squarepants.
The coins, valued just under $400,000 were minted in New Zealand and are legal tender in the South Pacific Island of Niue. They are made of pure silver, come in $2 denominations and, in homage to Mr. Squarepants, are themselves square, which I’m willing to bet, makes it difficult to do a decent coin flip with them. Think I’ll stick to the original model.
Sadly, it looks like someone else at the company followed Wasendorf ‘s business ethic because the feds have discovered that 76 sets are unaccounted for. They’re missing about 39 ounces of gold too (worth around $66,000), but who really cares about that? SOMEONE STOLE SPONGEBOB!!! Is there no depth to which some will sink?
Most of the sets were found during the the raids on the Iowa offices, while one set was found in Chicago in the possession of Peregrine’s director of precious metals, Tom Garland. Director of precious metals? That’s an actual job title? I’ve been out of the corporate scene for too long.
Anyway, the whereabouts of the missing coins ( valued at $20,000) are still a mystery and one can only guess the identity of the thief/thieves and what nefarious plan the person/persons involved have in store for their haul.
Maybe whoever has them will try to make a profit off of them. They are now out of a job, after all. I wonder how much they’ll be worth on the black market? Or, if you can’t sell them outright, I’m sure there are other SpongeBob aficionados out there willing to accept the coins as a bet in a game of Texas Holdem. If I’m right, I better start checking out the poker news to see if those coins turns up at some casino.
Not that I’m a fan or anything… Just curious.