BULLETIN: Tom Petters Guilty On All 20 Counts In $3.65 Billion Ponzi Scheme Case In Minnesota

breakingnewsBULLETIN: Minnesota businessman Tom Petters has been found guilty by a Minnesota jury.

UPDATED 6:03 P.M. ET (U.S.A.) Jury deliberations encompassed 32 hours over all or parts of five days. Petters blamed the fraud on subordinates, but the jury did not buy into his explanation that he had been inattentive to business since the stabbing death of his son in 2004.

“There was a lot of people hurt, not just him,” a juror said, discounting Petters’ assertion that his family pain caused by the death of his son explained a massive fraud.

It was the largest fraud in Minnesota history, consuming as much as $3.65 billion. The scheme, which featured phantom sales of merchandise to big-box retailers, collapsed in September 2008. All of the counts against Petters were felonies. He effectively faces life in prison.

In addition to his liquidation business, which purported to buy merchandise from bankrupt retailers and resell it at a handsome profit to discount stores, Petters owned famous companies such as Sun Country Airlines and Polaroid Corp.

Prosecutors said the scheme was sustained by bogus purchase orders and persistent lying to investors.

Prosecutor Joe Dixon said the FBI, the IRS and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service put together an excellent case. Dixon noted that Petters faced a maximum sentence of 350 years in prison.

At 5:45 P.M. ET (U.S.A.), jurors and prosecutors were expected to appear before cameras to answer questions. Here is a video uplink from the Star Tribune of Minneapolis/St. Paul.

It’s live as of this post: 6:03 P.M. ET.

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2 Responses to “BULLETIN: Tom Petters Guilty On All 20 Counts In $3.65 Billion Ponzi Scheme Case In Minnesota”

  1. Well I think that puts paid to the Bowdoin theory that he would be better off with a jury trial. Guilty and with a maximum sentence of 350 years!

  2. […] a jury in Minnesota returned a guilty verdict last week against Minnesota businessman Tom Petters in a $3.65 billion Ponzi […]