Wasendorf told Reade any sentence she imposed would be less severe than the punishment of being estranged from his son, Russ Wasendorf, Jr., who was Peregrine's president and has been described as stunned by the fraud. Prosecutors said they don't anticipate bringing charges against anyone else.
"I've lost the love of my son, and I'll never see my grandchildren again," Wasendorf said, breaking up.
Wasendorf has said he managed to get away with the theft because he became adept at making "convincing forgeries" of bank statements using computer equipment.
Wasendorf's attorney, public defender Jane Kelly, urged Reade to impose a more lenient sentence than the 50-year term recommended by guidelines and requested by prosecutors. She noted he was cooperating with investigators to help customers maximize their refunds and had made significant contributions to charity.
But Reade said Wasendorf cooperated only after he was caught, and all of his good acts built up his reputation with others' money.
"It is easy to be generous with other people's money," she said.
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