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01-08-2012 16:55:00

Peregrine Trustee Seeks Subpoena for 10 Banks

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CHICAGO--The trustee overseeing Peregrine Financial Group Inc. wants to subpoena financial records from 10 banks involved with the collapsed U.S. brokerage.

A federal judge is being asked to allow Ira Bodenstein, the court-appointed trustee, to issue subpoenas to J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM), US Bank, Citigroup Inc. (C), Morgan Stanley (MS) and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) and five other institutions, according to a court filing late Tuesday.

Such subpoenas for financial information are a common fixture in bankruptcy cases, as trustees seek to establish the flow and location of funds.

Peregrine collapsed after its chief executive, Russell Wasendorf Sr., attempted suicide on July 9. Mr. Wasendorf faces criminal charges for allegedly lying to regulators, who have estimated that as much as $215 million in customer funds might be missing.

Mr. Bodenstein said in the filing that he was seeking information related to open and closed Peregrine accounts at the institutions.

US Bank held segregated customer funds for Peregrine Financial's clients. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co also held such accounts, according to people familiar with the matter.

Morgan Stanley and Citigroup declined to comment. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., US Bank, and Goldman Sachs did not immediately respond to calls for comment.

The trustee also wants subpoenas for the Bank of New York Mellon Corp. (BK), First Premier, Jefferies Bache, Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC (RBS, RBS.LN) and Commerzbank.

Jefferies Bache, a unit of Jefferies, was Peregrine Financial's clearing firm with the CME Group Inc. clearing house.

Jefferies Bache declined to comment.

Bank of New York Mellon, First Premier, Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC and Commerzbank did not immediately respond to calls for comment.

The request is due to be heard by the judge at a hearing on Aug. 7.

In other developments, Mr. Wasendorg's son, Russell Wasendorf Jr., has been subpoenaed to appear before a federal grand jury examining the alleged wrongdoing that led to Peregrine Financial's collapse. Mr. Wasendorf Jr. was president of the failed brokerage since 2008 and has been described by former employees as running day-to-day operations of the firm. Mr. Wasendorf Jr. hasn't been accused of any wrongdoing.

--Liz Moyer contributed to this article.

Write to Doug Cameron at doug.cameron@dowjones.com and Tatyana Shumsky at Tatyana.Shumsky@dowjones.com

Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 01, 2012 10:55 ET (14:55 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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