The Trial of Tom Petters -- Day 11

The Government continued to build its case against Tom Petters with more testimony from businessmen. Michael Liss, an investor described Petter's stalling tactics when Petters couldn't repay a loan. Liss said Petters made all kinds of excuses while he continued to live like a "big-time wheeler-dealer"... like a "swashbuckling industrialist" with his "Blackberry abuzz".

But it wasn't just banks and hedge funds that lost money with Tom Petters. Little people were wiped out too. A widow, Janet Leck testified that Frank Vennes Jr. persuaded her to invest nearly everything she owned... now she faces foreclosure on the home she lived in for thirty years.

Another Petters associate, Michael Catain took the stand next. A few years before he was arrested for his role in the Petters fraud,  Michael Catain got into trouble with his neighbors. According to a 2006 police report, Michael Catain was observed screaming at a neighbor, "You wanna come after my wife? I'll fucking kill you."

Even after Petters was busted and Catain's property was put in receivership, Catain couldn't stay out of trouble. A report of an investigation by receiver Doug Kelly in January, 2009 said Michael Catain skimmed nearly $14,000 in proceeds from the Bay Car Wash he owned in Excelsior and removed several items from his home "including expensive chandeliers".

Catain testified today about his role in the scam, laundering of twelve billion dollars for Tom Petters and other stuff. He used code words like cabbage to signal when he would wire money.

After Catain, Greg Bell took the stand. Bell is being held in Anoka County jail. Bell testified about how he started the Lancelot hedge fund which was invested almost entirely in PCI.

Tomorrow, more Greg Bell testimony.


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