MINNEAPOLIS — A bankruptcy trustee’s search to recover assets linked to one of the largest financial crimes in Minnesota’s history has netted $722 million.
Doug Kelley says his work to collect assets from Tom Petters’ $1.9 billion Ponzi scheme is nearly done, 13 years after the search began.
Petters, now 63, was indicted in 2008 on multiple counts of mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering and conspiracy for operating a scheme which spanned 26 countries, including the the Cayman Islands, Germany and Switzerland.
Prosecutors said the Ponzi scheme set up by Petters took investors’ money under the guise of buying retail inventory, but instead he used the money to pay off earlier investors and his friends, and to fund a lavish lifestyle.
A federal jury found Petters guilty on all counts in 2009 and he was sentenced to 50 years in prison. An appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court was rejected in 2011.
He is currently an inmate at the federal prison in Leavenworth, Kansas.