Tom Petters sentenced to 50 years in prison

Categories: Tom Petters

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Ken Avidor
Tom Petters hears Judge Richard Kyle sentence him to 50 years in prison
Disgraced Wayzata businessman Tom Petters, convicted last year of orchestrating a $3.65 billion Ponzi scheme, has been sentenced to 50 years in prison.

Prosecutors sought a 335-year sentence. His defense team asked for four. Judge Richard Kyle said Petters might be able to get out at 41 years with credit for good behavior.

U.S. Attorney B.Todd Jones told reporters after the verdict was read that Petters was a fraud who lived a life built on lies, "and today the the check came due." The 50-year sentence was "just and fair," he said. "It's essentially a life sentence."

Kyle said he didn't buy Petters' excuse that he was somehow betrayed by underlings and was unaware of the massive fraud taking place around him. saying he didn't believe Petters was unaware of the fraud. Kyle called him the "captain of the ship."

Petters lawyers have maintained that their client is innocent of the charges, but today in court, Petters apologized to his family, friends and co-workers and described himself as filled with "pain and anguish."

All the same, he plans to appeal the sentence.

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