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Wasendorf pleaded guilty in September to embezzling more than $100 million.
U.S. prosecutors say the large loss, the sophisticated nature of the crime, and the sheer number of victims justify Wasendorf spending the rest of his life behind bars.
Peregrine's collapse dealt a blow to confidence in the U.S futures industry, already reeling from $1.6 billion hole in customer pockets left when giant brokerage MF Global failed nine months earlier.
Futures traders had never before suffered such large losses as a result of a brokerage failure.
Despite his misdeeds, Wasendorf "did do some positive things for the community," said former U.S. Congressman David Nagle from Iowa, who spoke up for the fallen CEO in court.
Nagle, who helped Wasendorf win zoning approval for Peregrine's environmentally-friendly headquarters, asked the judge for leniency.
"Who wants to defend the magnitude of the crimes Mr. Wasendorf committed?" he said. "But good people do bad things."