Prosecutors blame Petters for $3.5 billion fraud, says he lied when shifting responsibility

By Steve Karnowski, AP
Monday, November 23, 2009

Prosecutors blame Petters for $3.5B fraud

ST. PAUL, Minn. — A federal prosecutor has asked a jury to hold Minnesota businessman Tom Petters responsible for a massive fraud at his company.

In closing arguments Monday, prosecutor Jon Marti said Petters lied on the stand last week when he blamed the fraud at Petters Co. Inc. on other associates.

Marti says it cost investors more than $3.5 billion when the Ponzi scheme collapsed last year.

Prosecutors say Petters used self-promotion, deception, evasion, false documents and delaying tactics to execute the fraud.

Marti says Peters used investor’s money to buy companies like Fingerhut, Polaroid and Sun Country Airlines; to pay off other investors and to live the life of a corporate tycoon.

The jury is expected to get the case later Monday after hearing from the defense.

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