CEDAR FALLS, Iowa --- The Peregrine Financial Group crisis has hit Bikini Bottom.

According to a sea of bankruptcy documents filed late last week, troubled commodity trading firm PFG is missing thousands of dollars of silver coins minted with the likeness of SpongeBob SquarePants and other Bikini Bottom characters from the Nickelodeon cable network cartoon show.

PFG filed for bankruptcy in July after founder Russell Wasendorf Sr. attempted to take his own life amid allegations of embezzlement and fraud.

On Thursday, officials released the first detailed look at the company's finances. It claimed $270,157,990 in assets --- none of it in real estate --- against $525,296,704 in liabilities.

Sunken under listings for hundreds of pieces of computer equipment, office chairs, copyrights and intellectual property --- PFG claimed not only the web address PFGBest.com but also PFGSucks.com --- were five items under the heading "precious metals."

PFG owns 1,528 sets of SpongeBob silver coins, according to the statement.

But not all of the sets have been accounted for. A parenthetical reference notes that 76 sets are missing.

The FBI inventoried 1,449 sets during its investigation, two others were found in "Iowa desks," apparently referring to PFG's Cedar Falls headquarters.

Another set is in Chicago held by Tom Garland, director of PFG Precious Metals, according to documents.

The SpongeBob coins were first offered in 2011 for $259 for a set of four through PFG Precious Metal and New Zealand Mint, according to promotional materials. Each set includes square coins featuring SpongeBob, pet snail Gary, Patrick Star the starfish and Sandy Cheeks the squirrel and proclaim "In SpongeBob we trust." The flip side is adorned by a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II.

At the suggested retail price of $259 per set, the missing SpongeBobs are worth $19,684. As scrap silver, at the current value of $33 per ounce, the missing sets total about $10,000.

For gold, PFG has 133 ounces, although it is supposed to have 172 ounces through its Gold and Silver Accumulation Program, so 39 ounces are missing, records state. With gold currently going for about $1,700 an ounce, the missing metal is worth about $66,300.

Eleven ounces of platinum, six ounces of palladium and another 8,994 ounces of silver held by PFG are apparently accounted for.

The list for office equipment and furnishings includes a baseball glove signed by Major League Baseball stars Joe Torre and Johnny Bench. There is also a signed basketball, but records don't indicate who signed it.

Cops and courts reporter for the Courier

(2) comments

Oboe Cop
Oboe Cop

Not bad, but you probably could have made a few more incredibly lame "SpongeBob" or ocean-themed puns. For example: "The missing coins are leaving a taste in the mouths of investors worse than crabby patties." or how about, "When it comes to precious metals, PFG was found to have a treasure chest of booty that make a pirate jealous." or maybe, "With gold currently going for about $1,700 an ounce, the missing metal is worth about $66,300. A price sure to make Mr. Crabs weep with joy." Here's one: "A parenthetical reference notes that 76 sets have been plundered." Orrrrr, "The FBI inventoried 1,449 sets during its investigation, two others were found in "Iowa desks," apparently referring to PFG's Cedar Falls headquarters, or perhaps Davy Jones' Locker." You get the idea. See, you need to completely choke a legitimate news story with an ocean of lame puns and jokes that come in wave after wave to show everyone how hilarious you really are. You know, as opposed to being, I don't know... journalists or something.

JD Kinnick
JD Kinnick

Hmmm...I wouldn't be surprised if Mr. Krabs has hidden a stash of these at the Krusty Krab

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