The collapse of Iowa-based brokerage PFGBest won't leave NZ Mint out of pocket after the local precious metal minter was paid in full for its novelty SpongeBob Squarepants coins.
Last year, NZ Mint was commissioned by PFGBest's PFG Precious Metals unit to manufacture and produce a limited edition range of coins based on the eccentric underwater characters in the Nickelodeon cartoon.
This week, PFGBest collapsed after its regulated Peregrine Financial Group unit and owner allegedly defrauded customers and lied to regulators to hide a shortfall of more than US$200 million.
PFGBest was responsible for the sale and distribution of the tender, with a set of four coins selling for US$259 on the spongebobcoins.com website. NZ Mint has distanced itself from the coin range, and is no longer promoting it.
"All monies due for the manufacture and production of the product was paid in full and NZ Mint will sustain no loss through the unfortunate liquidation of PFGBest," vice president of US operations Chris Kirkness said in an emailed statement.
That leaves NZ Mint in a better position than Peregrine's clients who may face a shortfall, according to media reports in the US. Peregrine has filed for liquidation with between US$500 million and US$1 billion of assets, and between US$100 million and US$500 million of liabilities. .
The US National Futures Association jumped on PFGBest on Monday and froze the broker's accounts after the industry body received information chairman Russell Wasendorf Snr may have falsified bank records.
Since then, the regulator has launched a suit against the broker, and PFGBest's Wasendorf is in a coma after a suicide attempt, according to media reports.
PFGBest's collapse comes after broker MF Global's demise, with some US$1.6 billion of client money still unaccounted for.