Petters makes tearful plea for shorter prison sentence

Author:
Updated:
Original:

The man serving a 50-year sentence for running the largest financial fraud in Minnesota history appeared in federal court Wednesday morning to ask for reduced prison time.

Tom Petters, 56, appeared in an orange prison jumpsuit and wept in front of Judge Richard Kyle as he made a plea to slash his prison sentence by 20 years, Minnesota Public Radio reports.

After a month-long trial in 2009, a federal jury found Petters guilty of orchestrating a $3.65 billion Ponzi scheme. He was convicted of 20 counts of fraud, conspiracy and money laundering.

Petters finally admitted guilt on Wednesday, FOX 9 says.

"I made horrible mistake," he said. "We were robbing Peter to pay Paul."

Petters says he would have accepted a 30-year plea deal, but claims he wan't aware of a possible deal until after he was sentenced.

MPR says Petters will need to prove a formal offer was made by prosecutors, that his attorneys failed to inform him of a deal and that he would have accepted it, along with showing the trial judge would have approved it.

His attorneys maintain that there was never a plea agreement offered and Petters was not open to plea bargain discussions, FOX 9 said.

The Star Tribune says the hearing in St. Paul could last one more day as Petters is cross-examined by prosecutors.

Petters has been serving his prison sentence at a federal facility in Fort Leavenworth, Kan. FOX 9 says he will be eligible for release in 38 years.

Next Up

leech lake band of ojibwe sign

11,760 acres of land wrongly taken from Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe will be returned

The Senate and now the House have passed a bill that effectively returns the land. It's now headed for the president's signature.

Karl-Anthony Towns

Timberwolves release first half of 2020-21 regular season schedule

The second half of the schedule will be announced at a later date.

reindeer como zoo

Watch live: Como Zoo's live reindeer cam is back for December

The live feed will run 24/7 allowing you to keep an eye on Santa's antlered helpers.

sleeping

Three simple ways to boost your immune health heading into winter

Eating right is one thing, but there are other ways to stay healthy as the days shorten.

Taylor Rogers

Why Twins fans shouldn't give up on Taylor Rogers

The Twins closer struggled in 2020 but could rebound next season.

Co. Rd. 2 crash, Wakefield Twp.

Teen driver leaves road, crashes into three trees

Fortunately, the 16-year-old was not injured.

mndot deer  tunnel 1

Minnesota is getting its first highway crossing for animals

This will provide a safe way for animals to cross the street, and hopefully limit deer-vehicle collisions.

Screen Shot 2020-12-04 at 11.00.30 AM

Money Gal Coaching: Habits of a millionaire, just in time for the holidays?

Kelly Blodgett started Money Gal Coaching after paying down nearly $50K in debt in 18 months.

Mayo Belle Plaine

Mayo temporarily closes 5 clinics in southern MN amid COVID surge

The Mayo is reallocating staff to other sites as it deals with the COVID outbreak.

soda pop

MDH finds 'troubling' trend in how many sugary drinks students are consuming

Nearly half of students have a sugary drink a day. Health officials recommend limiting it to one per week or fewer.

Related

Tom Petters breaks silence in exclusive interview from prison

Twin Cities Business sat down with the former Wayzata businessman in Leavenworth Penitentiary, where he's serving a 50-year sentence for his role in a billion-dollar Ponzi scheme. But he sticks with the same story he told a courtroom in 2009: He wasn't involved. He says his associates ran the fraud while he was deeply focused on Sun Country Airlines and Polaroid.

Appeals court upholds Petters' 50-year sentence

A federal appeals court has ruled that Minnesota businessman Tom Petters received a fair trial. He was convicted and sentenced to 50 years in prison for orchestrating a multi-billion-dollar Ponzi scheme.