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Petters aides enter not guilty pleas on new federal charges

Frank Vennes and James Fry will go to trial in February after pleading not guilty to a total of 31 criminal counts, the Pioneer Press reports. The charges include wire fraud, money laundering and making false statements. Both men are accused of helping convicted Twin Cities businessman Tom Petters carry out his $3.5 billion Ponzi scheme.
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Frank Vennes and James Fry will go to trial in February after pleading not guilty to a total of 31 criminal counts, the Pioneer Press reports. The charges include wire fraud, money laundering and making false statements.

Both men are accused of helping convicted Twin Cities businessman Tom Petters orchestra his multi-billion Ponzi scheme. Petters is serving a 50-year prison sentence after jury members found him guilty of fraud in 2009.

Attorney's and experts sifting through the financial mess left behind by Minnesota's largest financial fraud case have collected nearly $70 million for their work and the tab is still growing, the Star Tribune reported in August.

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The full Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals is denying convicted Minnesota businessman Tom Petters' request to re-hear his appeal. The Pioneer Press reports Petters will now ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review his case. He was found guilty in 2009 for orchestrating a $3.5 billion Ponzi scheme. The 54-year-old is currently serving a 50-year sentence at a federal penitentiary in Kansas.

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