Tom Petters channels Bernie Madoff
Seeking a more lenient sentence after his client was convicted of orchestrating a $3.65 billion Ponzi scheme, disgraced businessman Tom Petters's lawyer, Paul Engh, has decided the best way to make his point is to equate Petters with one of the most reviled figures in New York's financial industry: Bernie Madoff.
The stockbroker and former Nasdaq chairman pleaded guilty in 2009 to running a $65 billion Ponzi scheme that cost investors $18 billion -- the largest in U.S. history. He was sentenced to 150 years in prison.
Prosecutors in the Petters case are seeking a 335-year sentence, which Engh challenged yesterday in a court filing. Comparing his client's conviction to Madoff's, Engh believes Petters should serve just four years.
Prosecutors later filed a response saying that Petters has expressed no remorse, and deserves every last day of the prison term they are seeking.
Madoff, it should be noted, did express remorse at his sentencing.
"I have left a legacy of shame," Madoff told the court. "That's something I will live with for the rest of my life."
Petters is due to be sentenced next Thursday.