CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa --- It has been three weeks since Russell Wasendorf Sr. received the longest white-collar prison sentence in the history of Iowa's Northern District, and the 64-year-old former CEO of Peregrine Financial Group still doesn't know where he'll spend the rest of his days.
On Jan. 31, Judge Linda Reade sentenced Wasendorf to 50 years behind bars in U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids, rejecting requests for leniency. She also ordered him to repay $216 million he stole from 13,000 PFG account holders.
Wasendorf still hasn't been moved to a U.S. federal prison. He remains in custody at Linn County Jail.
Transferral to a permanent lockup facility typically is a month-long process, said Bill Kiesau, supervisory deputy with the U.S. Marshal Service for the Northern District of Iowa in Cedar Rapids.
"The Bureau of Prisons will designate which facility he's going to go to, and we'll make determination of how to move him," Kiesau said. "It depends on where he is going, when he goes and what transportation is available."
Kiesau said there's no telling when the Bureau of Prisons will decide where or when to move Wasendorf. He could not specify when or where Wasendorf would be transferred, anyway, "for security reasons."
The length of sentence and type of crime help determine where to send a prisoner, Kiesau said. Other factors include the nature of the crimes, the individual's criminal history and medical background, as well as space availability.
In this case, Wasendorf, who pleaded guilty to four charges --- embezzlement of customer funds; mail fraud; false statements to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and false statements to the National Futures Association --- drew the maximum sentence allowed under law.
When a prisoner's ultimate destination is decided, the inmate is typically moved to a central location and loaded into a vehicle --- a car, van, bus or airplane in the U.S. Marshals-managed Justice Prisoner and Alien Transportation System --- and sent to a central hub in Oklahoma City. Prisoners are dispersed from there to different prison facilities, Kiesau said.
How a prisoner is moved can vary, often depending the availability of manpower, vehicles and travel time, Kiesau said.
As they await their designation, inmates have the same daily routine as they had before sentencing, Kiesau said.
"They just stay in wherever we hold them at whatever county jail we're holding them," he said. "There's nothing that changes from pretrial or sentencing until they actually get moved."