The Trial of Tom Petters, Day 6

A connection to Michele Bachmann? More graphic testimony. Outside the Federal Courthouse in Saint Paul, construction workers were digging a big hole while inside the courthouse, Paul Enge, Tom Petters' attorney continued to dig holes in Deanna Coleman's credibility as a witness.

Enge questioned Coleman about not reporting income from bonuses and the eight hundred dollar Timberwolves tickets she tried to keep from the receiver.

The defense played taped phone calls of Deanna Coleman discussing with other Petters' associates the dire financial situation PCI faced in mid-September of 2008. Deanna Coleman, Bob White and Larry Reynolds speculated about who knew about the phony purchase orders which made the fraud possible.  At one point in the recording, Deanna Coleman said she thought Frank Vennes knew about the fraudulent purchase orders. Coleman also said Frank Vennes managed hedge funds that invested over a billion dollars with Petters.

Frank Vennes was a top campaign contributor to Representative Michele Bachmann's campaign. Bachmann wrote a letter in 2007 to George Bush supporter Vennes's request for a pardon for his 1997 conviction for money laundering, gun and drug trafficking.

In another taped conversation Coleman told Larry Reynolds that Tom
Petters was in complete denial and pretended the purchase orders were
real.

Later on, Tom Petters' personal assistant David Margolis took the
stand and told what it was like working for Tom Petters. Margolis
testified how part of his job was taking the fall for Petters'
screw-ups and lying and making excuses for his boss. Margolis also
talked about how he went to Michael Catain's car wash in Excelsior and
picked up an envelope containing fifty thousand dollars in cash and
delivered it to Tom Petters.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy Rank called insurance guy Tim Gonsior
to the stand and asked him about the warehouses which insurance
companies were supposed to have access to to check on the merchandise
Petters claimed to have bought. Petters refused to let them have
access to the warehouses apparently because they did not contain any
merchandise.

The prosecution then called bankers to testify how making loans to
restauranteur Dean Vlahos and Tom Petters. Dean Vlahos took the stand
for about ten minutes, but he will return tomorrow. Bob White may also
testify.


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