Jury convicts Petters associate James Fry

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A jury in St. Paul on Wednesday found Twin Cities hedge fund manager James Fry guilty on federal charges related to the misleading of investors whose funds he sent to disgraced Wayzata businessman Tom Petters, who also was convicted of fraud, the Star Tribune reports.

The jury of eight women and four men reached a verdict after a three-week trial, on the third day of deliberations, the newspaper reports.

Fry, 59, was convicted on all 12 counts of wire and securities fraud and for making false statements to the Securities and Exchange Commission about his role as an investment manager with convicted Ponzi scheme operator Petters. Petters was convicted in 2009 and is serving a 50-year sentence.

Fry was not directly charged with participating in the Petters scheme – his charges were related to lying to clients and federal authorities, the Pioneer Press reports.

Fry's legal team had argued that he believed Petters was managing a legitimate electronic consumer goods business.

Fry could be the last defendant in the $3.65 billion Petters Ponzi scheme, which the Star Tribune notes was the largest criminal fraud in Minnesota history.

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