Official: 250 Iowa jobs lost after firm’s collapse

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A state official says that up to 250 employees in northeastern Iowa lost their jobs following the collapse of a financial empire owned by a businessman arrested in connection with a $200 million fraud scheme.

Iowa Workforce Development spokeswoman Kerry Koonce said Tuesday the agency is piecing together the economic damage caused by the sudden downfall of Peregrine Financial Group CEO Russ Wasendorf Sr., who was arrested and charged last week.

In addition to owning the Cedar Falls-based brokerage, Wasendorf owned several related entities such as an upscale restaurant, a construction company and an aircraft company.

Koonce says representatives of her agency will meet with affected employees in Waterloo on Wednesday to help them apply for unemployment benefits and start the process for trying to recover missing wages and commissions.