Petters to appear in court today

Categories: Tom Petters

TomPetters.jpgTom Petters, jailed millionaire of Petters Group Worldwide will appear in St. Paul federal court today.

Check below the jump for the latest on the Petters alleged fraud scheme.

Two more people were charged in the fraud scheme that allegedly topped more than $1 billion.

From the Pioneer Press:

On Monday, Deanna Lynn Coleman, an employee of Petters Co. Inc., was charged with conspiracy. She allegedly fabricated documents used by Tom Petters, the company's founder and former CEO, and others to "induce third parties to provide (Petters Co. Inc.) with billions of dollars in loans," according to the criminal complaint. The complaint says she received "millions of dollars" for her role.

On Friday: Michael Alan Catain, 52, of Shorewood, was charged with money laundering. Court documents show that in 2002, he started Enchanted Family Buying Co., which the government alleges was a sham business used to launder money for a company controlled by Petters Group. About $12 billion allegedly was routed through Enchanted, and Catain collected about $3 million in commissions for his role, according to the charging documents.

On Monday, a federal judge authorized the seizure of several billion dollars worth of assets related to the investigation. The judge appointed Minneapolis attorney Doug Kelley as a receiver to oversee Petters Group Worldwide, Petters Co. Inc. and related companies. The order excluded Sun Country Airlines, which filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition Monday, according to the Star Tribune.

More from the Star Tribune:

To support their request, government attorneys filed a sworn statement from FBI Special Agent Eileen Rice in which she outlined the structure of the alleged fraud and revealed a number of large payments to individuals from Petters Co. Inc. The government contends that the payments were the proceeds of fraud.

Among the checks written on the corporate account was one for $500,000 to Petters "for personal use" on Sept. 29 -- five days after federal agents raided his companies and his home and four days before he was charged and detained as a flight risk.

Other checks from that account include two for more than $1 million to Robert White, a participant in the alleged scheme who was charged with mail fraud and illegal monetary transactions.

The FBI affidavit says the Nevada Gaming Enforcement agency reported that Petters has gambling losses exceeding $10 million. It says Petters "is the largest comped-room guest" at the upscale Bellagio Casino in Las Vegas.

We aren't expecting Petters to skip out of St. Paul pumping his fist, but we'll keep you updated today as news develops.


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