3. A Diabolical Story

“Still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.”

—Paul Simon, “The Boxer”

On a beautiful Iowa summer’s day in 2012, Russell Wasendorf, Sr., the chief executive of a major futures brokerage firm, was found by an employee, unconscious in his car. Wasendorf had rigged a tube directly from his exhaust into the Chevy’s cabin in an apparent suicide attempt. He was revived and subsequently confessed to stealing over $200 million from his customers’ accounts over a 10-year period. He spent the money on a new corporate headquarters, real estate investments (primarily in Romania, of all places), a private jet, and travel and entertainment for family members and staff.

How did Wasendorf get away with this over such ...

Get Trading Commodities and Financial Futures: A Step-by-Step Guide to Mastering the Markets, Fourth Edition now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.