Ms. Barnhardt,I only discovered you recently, in the wake of the PFG disaster. Obviously with the water that’s been under the bridge since then, I wish I had discovered you much sooner! I am a Forex trader and was doing business through PFG at the time everything melted down in early July. I’ve learned a lot about how badly I (and others) have been screwed in this fiasco — largely by reading much of what you have written on your site. Thank you for all you continue to give to the trading/investing community.
I’ve received all the periodic updates on the PFG bankruptcy, along with the periodic “offers” to buy out my claim. I’m a patient man, so have just been waiting for this process to run to its eventual, unfortunate conclusion. But I always assumed I would get a portion of my account back. I received a disturbing email earlier today (see below) which indicates that is most likely not the case and thought I would bring it to your attention. Apparently Forex and Metals accounts are NOT being given the same legal protections through the bankruptcy process. I thought I understood the ongoing process, but now have to admit I was mistaken. If I’m reading this correctly, the (currently intact at JPM and RBS) Forex and Metals accounts will be used to pay off the Commodities accounts and pay for legal and other costs through the bankruptcy process and are not intended to be returned (in any amount) to the customers to which they rightfully belong. This to me feels like just another layer of the onion of the unending fraud that now riddles the financial system.
If you would like to use this information — principally to inform other potential PFG Forex and Metals customers — feel free to do so. Obviously, I have no expectation that you can do anything directly in this situation, but I respect what you’ve been doing to try and expose the wrongdoing that has been taking place. If you do decide to put any of this information “out there”, please remove my name. Other than that, use it as you see fit.
Attention PFG FX and Metals Account Holders,
We are contacting you as fellow Peregrine Financial Group, Inc. (PFG) Forex and Metals account holders. We would like to share information with you that directly impacts all Forex and Metals accounts during the current PFG bankruptcy proceedings. The following information pertains to the perilous status of our accounts and should be of concern to every Forex and Metals account holder. Please read this entire e-mail as this is not spam.
A fellow FX account holder, Scott Shofner, contacted the PFG Trustee, Ira Bodenstein, and asked him directly why there are no plans to distribute the Forex and Metals accounts. The Trustee informed Mr. Shofner that he categorized our accounts as unsecured and therefore our accounts are not protected under the bankruptcy laws. (At least two additional Forex account holders have been told the same by the Trustee.) The Trustee also stated that because we signed the PFG Risk Disclosure Agreements when opening our PFG accounts it puts our accounts at full risk. The results of this conversation prompted the search to find proper legal representation to protect our FX and Metals accounts.
A fellow FX account holder, Rick Medley, appeared and represented himself in the PFG courtroom last week (9/12/12). Inside a courtroom filled with attorneys representing PFG Futures/Options/Commodities account holders, there was no legal council representing us as FX and Metals clients. Contrary to our previous understanding, not even the Commodity Customer Coalition (CCC) appeared to be supporting FX and Metals clients in the courtroom. Mr. Medley confirmed from his presence and while addressing the court during the bankruptcy proceedings last week that FX and Metals clients were without legal representation in Judge Doyle’s courtroom. Mr. Medley stated in court on 9/12/12 that it was his understanding that all the money Mr. Wasendorf had stolen came out of futures accounts and no money was stolen from Forex accounts. Neither the Trustee nor anyone else disputed this in court. His testimony in front of Judge Doyle was the first step in representing our accounts.
Our Forex and Metals monies are currently intact at JPMorgan Chase Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland as confirmed by the Trustee. You may think that because our accounts are listed in the Trustee’s documents that our accounts are safe. Initially we believed this as well. In fact, if you carefully read through all the Motions, schedules and documents submitted to the bankruptcy court, nothing could be farther from the truth. Our accounts are at risk of being completely emptied in the current legal proceedings – effectively stealing our money in the next few weeks – and converted to pay Futures account holders and the Trustee’s law firm. We view what may be about to take place as equivalent to criminal theft/larceny. We never in our wildest dreams thought that one man or a group of lawyers could put 100 percent of our accounts at risk, do it openly, publicly, and legally get away with it. The Trustee’s Motions are designed to distribute $123 million to Futures account holders – which was approved in court on 9/20/12 – and will deplete the funds available to Forex and Metals account holders. We need to immediately protect our accounts. If we let the Trustee and the dozens of lawyers representing non-Forex and non-Metals clients take our money without doing anything about it, then we don’t have anyone else to blame but ourselves. We cannot sit idly by and watch our hard earned money be divided between creditors and other customers.
Previous brokerage bankruptcy proceedings have set an ugly track record for FX clients and have resulted in the complete loss of Forex and Metals accounts. The current PFG bankruptcy proceedings and the lack of action by the Trustee to disperse our FX and Metals funds to us are creating many questions and causes for concern. We are frustrated and shocked with the entire PFG bankruptcy proceedings and lack of fair play toward all PFG account holders. We refuse to watch our money be stolen with impunity. We have decided to take action to protect our accounts. We feel legal representation is necessary in order to protect the accounts we have spent our entire lives building. Individually, we do not have the cash reserves to hire the right attorneys to represent us. We must join together to share the attorney’s fees required to protect all of our Forex and Metals accounts. For those of you unsure about hiring legal representation or contributing… or are concerned that we are perpetrating a scam … or don’t believe that the Trustee can legally empty our accounts … we invite you to do your own due diligence:
• Contact the Trustee, Ira Bodenstein, (312) 666-2861, and ask him why FX and Metals accounts are not included in the distributions.
• Read footnote 11, page 340 of the Motion to Liquidate FX Accounts submitted 7/27/12 in which the Trustee states we are not PFG “customers” under the bankruptcy code and that the treatment of our claims and distributions is unknown.
• Contact the Commodity Customer Coalition (CCC) and ask why they are failing to represent the interests of the FX and Metals clients in the PFG courtroom as well as in the US Senate Ag Committee hearings that took place a few weeks ago.
For those of you needing further proof that our accounts need to be represented and protected:
• Late Wednesday afternoon (9/19/12), the Trustee moved up a scheduled court Hearing from Friday (9/21/12) to Thursday (9/20/12) to quickly get his Motion for Interim Distribution signed for Futures/Commodities account holders only.
• Due to the scheduling change, our attorneys were unable to finalize a Motion to the court to postpone the Distribution Order. They were allowed to present verbal objections in front of Judge Doyle, the CFTC representative and the Trustee, Ira Bodenstein.
• The Trustee admitted to the absence of any written audit report on the accounts as well as to the discovery of indications of fraudulent activities within the PFG Futures accounts that were the subject of his Distribution Order.
• The Trustee confirmed an intact balance of $44.58 million in FX and Metals accounts in addition to the $193.87 million in Futures/Options/Commodities accounts.
• Our attorneys spent most of the day (9/20/12) in the courtroom representing us as FX/Metals clients. Our concerns were presented verbally and as a result Judge Doyle invited our attorneys to submit a new Motion to her court.
• This session, as well as all official court proceedings, were documented and recorded by the court. You can confirm this information for yourselves within the Chicago Court computer system or via the public PACER system.
We hope that we have made everyone aware of how critical it is to protect our account balances. Since we are all traders and none of us has the expertise or experience necessary to represent ourselves and our accounts in such a precedent setting bankruptcy case, we feel we have hired the right experienced attorneys to represent us in the courtroom. We must continue to take action to have our FX/Metals accounts represented in front of Judge Doyle. When our account holders’ fund for attorneys’ fees is exhausted so are our chances at getting our account balances returned to us. We are asking those wanting to help protect their accounts to contribute an initial 1% on a pro-rata basis of your account(s) balance towards the retainer to maintain representation. We are also asking larger account holders to join us on retainer and help represent our accounts more actively. You can contribute one percent to help protect your entire account(s) value or contribute nothing and allow your account(s) to be legally plundered. This is real, and it is happening right now. We are all in this unfortunate situation together. Please join us in our fight to protect and retrieve our accounts. For more information please visit our website www.PFGForexMetalsLegalAccount.com. If you are interested in joining this group action to protect our accounts, please respond to Info@PFGForexMetalsLegalAccount.com. We know that this may seem like a unique approach, but this is the only way we know how to contact each of the 7,000 fellow account holders and let you know what is happening with your accounts and what you can do to help protect them. Please remember that time is of the essence as we are already late in being represented in the courtroom. If we do nothing … then nothing is what we will end up with.
Thank you for your time,
Scott Shofner, Richard Medley, Michael Krall, Aarynn Krall, Paul Smith, Christopher Olson, David Beyerlein, James Landrum