New Wife of Peregrine CEO Files for Annulment

According to a recent Thomson Reuters report, former Peregrine Financial Group CEO Russell R. Wasendorf, Sr., who was indicted by a federal grand jury on 31 counts of fraud-related crimes earlier this month, now has become the subject of an annulment action filed by his new wife, Nancy J. Paladino. In her August 13thcomplaint in the Clark County District Court in Nevada, Paladino claims that their June 30th wedding in the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas occurred under false pretenses because she was unaware of Wasendorf’s allegedly illegal activities at Peregrine, which consisted of misappropriating over $200 million in client funds and faking reports to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. The filing further alleges that Wasendorf knew that he was about face criminal charges and planned to commit suicide when he fraudulently obtained Paladino’s consent to marry him. Paladino’s filing comes just one month following Wasendorf’s arrest by federal investigators after he was released by an Iowa hospital after a botched suicide attempt.

Annulment is an available remedy in many states, including the state of Illinois, and fraud is a common ground for annulment in various states. Illinois law refers to annulment as a “declaration of invalidity of marriage”. There are four grounds under Illinois law that may serve as the basis for an annulment of your marriage, as follows:

  • One of the parties could not consent to the marriage, either due to incapacity, disability, force, duress, or fraud.
  • One of the parties discovers after the marriage that the other party cannot have sexual intercourse.
  • One of the parties was under the age of 18 and did not have his or her parent’s consent.
  • The marriage was not legal, either because one party was still married to someone else, the two parties were too closely related, or the parties were of the same sex.

Since annulments have stricter time limits and requirements than divorces, many more people seek divorces than annulments. If you believe that your marital situation qualifies you for an annulment, you should consult with an experienced Wheaton, Illinois family law attorney for advice about your particular case.

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