Financial fraudster sold investors SpongeBob SquarePants coins!

Silver SpongeBob SquarePants coins minted by a private company in New Zealand were among the assets seized by FBI agents from Peregrine Financial Group after its chief confessed to nearly 20 years of fraud last week.

Ira Bodenstein, the trustee in Peregrine’s bankruptcy case in Chicago, said the coins were in a vault at the firm’s Cedar Falls, Iowa, headquarters. The value of the takings was not immediately clear.

The coin disclosure adds a new twist to the case of Peregrine Finiancial Group CEO Russell Wasendorf Sr., who was arrested last Friday after he confessed to doctoring bank statements to make regulators think his futures brokerage had nearly twice the assets it did, leaving customers with an estimated shortfall of over $200 million…

Peregrine ran a unit called PFG Precious Metals which offers investors “whole sale prices, fast & fully insured shipping” for gold, silver and platinum coins, as well as novelty items created through a partnership with the Auckland-based minting firm…

A four-coin set of SpongeBob Squarepants, housed in a “distinctive” treasure chest, went for $259…Each coin in the set shows a character from the Nickelodeon animated series and bears the inscription “IN SPONGEBOB WE TRUST.”

Har!

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