CEDAR FALLS, Iowa --- A court-appointed official sorting through Russell Wasendorf Sr.'s assets reports they are extensive and international.

Michael Eidelman is tasked with dismantling Wasendorf's financial empire so it can be sold to reimburse creditors and customers defrauded by the Cedar Falls commodities broker.

Last week Eidelman issued a 29-page snapshot of what he has found in more than two months of searching since the collapse of Peregrine Financial Group in the wake of Wasendorf's arrest on embezzlement charges in July.

PFG quickly filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and Wasendorf pleaded guilty on Monday to federal mail fraud and embezzlement charges.

Eidelman's inventory includes a dozen businesses, 4,000 bottles of wine, three homes, seven snowmobiles and two boats. He reports Wasendorf's book company looks like it could be the best seller. Wasendorf's houses, other businesses and a restaurant are also on the menu, along with international holdings.

Much of the personal property will be sold during a high-profile auction. Eidelman is working with real estate agents to sell the land and buildings and is still sorting out much of Wasendorf's business dealings.

Here's a look at what he found:

MyVerona --- Located on Main Street in Cedar Falls and owned by Wasendorf, the restaurant did about $200,000 of business a month in the last three months it was open. But it never generated a profit, according to Eidelman's report.

My Verona closed in July, and the building holds restaurant equipment and a large wine collection as well as a portion of Wasendorf's personal 4,000-bottle wine collection.

Eidelman has talked with potential buyers about selling the business as a whole or parting out the building, furniture and restaurant equipment for separate sales, according to the report.

Wasendorf & Associates --- Based at Wasendorf's warehouse on Westminster Drive, this company was his publishing business. It operated an online bookstore and futures trading magazines and contracted authors to sell books.

Eidelman states he "believes the assets of Wasendorf & Associates, particularly Traders Press, have value, and is working diligently to conduct a sale of same in order to maximize the value of the receivership estate." He said he shopped the company around to about 430 potential bidders.

Wasendorf Construction --- This company owns a number of the buildings and holds title to most of the office furniture in Wasendorf's businesses, including PFG's $20 million headquarters on Peregrine Way, the Westminster Drive warehouse, MyVerona and the vacant Commissary on East Third Street.

The construction company is jointly owned by Wasendorf and his son. The son has the majority interest, but the father controlled the business, according to the Eidelman's report.

Wasendorf Air --- For the most part, the business, which used to employ three pilots, consisted of Wasendorf's interest in a Hawker Beechcraft airplane worth about $3.2 million with a $4.2 million lien on it. In August the court allowed the receiver to abandon interest in the aircraft.

Rhombus Asset Management/CEEIF/Price Nominees --- The receiver still has much to investigate in this section of assets, which involves overseas investments. According to the inventory, Wasendorf and two others were the initial investors in Rhombus, which involved real estate ventures in Romania.

The investors then formed an entity called Avrig 35, named after an address in Bucharest. Avrig 35 has property for sale and owns or has interest in a number of other businesses ranging from construction to video production to French fashion and athletic shoes franchises. The investors also formed a holding company in the Mediterranean island nation of Cyprus called CEEIF to receive tax benefits on Avrig 35's profits. Wasendorf's share of CEEIF was held by a trust called Price Nominees in Cyprus, court records state. The investors also opened two Dutch entities called Oceanis International Cosmetics and C&F International/CEERES, and new Avrig ventures became subsidiaries of one of these two operations.

The receiver said he was told Wasendorf holds about 11 percent interest in CEEIF and 15 percent interest in Rhombus, although CEEIF's ownership is currently being litigated in Illinois.

The receiver also lists other Wasendorf entities as Aegis Risk Solutions, MarketZAR Inc., Village Gate Communications, PFG Precious Metals and Wasendorf & Son, but provides no details on the companies at this time.

The receiver's report identifies six pieces of real estate in Cedar Falls and one in Chicago owned by Wasendorf or his companies, and only the PFG headquarters is mortgaged.

Wasendorf's home on West Cedar-Wapsi Road included a house, coach house, work shed and a heated, indoor U-shaped swimming pool on 19 acres of land. The report goes on to describe the spa, saunas and retractable roof associated with the pool.

Two people have made offers on the house, but Eidelman rejected them because they were below market value, the report states. He has contacted real estate agents to sell the home.

Also on the list is a Chicago condo on North Harbor Drive that Wasendorf bought in 2003 for $1.23 million, and a Wasendorf-owned, fully furnished "corporate residence" on Pheasant Drive in Cedar Falls that contains a built-in wine cellar and a pool table.

Eidelman also lists two life insurance policies Wasendorf had. In August, he was allowed to sell one for its $1.287 million surrender value. The other can't be sold and will lapse in 2014 without further payments. The receiver doesn't plan to renew it, but if Wasendorf passes away before then, the $2.16 million death benefit can be collected.

Cops and courts reporter for the Courier

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