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Minneapolis (KROC AM News) -  The final court order has been issued in a Ponzi scheme orchestrated by a well-known Minnesotan that was one of the largest and most sophisticated in US history.

Businessman Thomas Petters was convicted in 2009 on 20 counts of mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy for orchestrating the $1.9-billion scam. Petters is currently serving a 50-year prison sentence.

Tom Petters
Sherburne County Jail photo


According to Wikipedia:

Petters Group Worldwide was an American diversified company based in Minnetonka, Minnesota that was turned into a $3.65 billion Ponzi scheme by its founder and CEO, Tom Petters. It had 3,200 employees and investments or full ownership in 60 companies, of which it actively managed 20, with offices in North America, South America, Asia, and Europe. Among its assets were Sun Country Airlines, Petters Warehouse Direct, and the remnants of Polaroid. Petters Group Worldwide had $2.3 billion in revenue in 2007.

UBid.com And Hollywood Stars Launch Auction For Hurricane Victims
LAS VEGAS - OCTOBER 15: Tom Petters (L), founder and chairman of Petters Group Worldwide, and actress Kathy Griffin speak at the launch of the "uBid for Hurricane Relief" charity auction and benefit at the Empire Ballroom October 15, 2005 in Las Vegas, Nevada. All of the proceeds from the auction will be split evenly between the Brett Favre Fourward Foundation, the RockWorks Foundation and the Child Welfare League of America. The organizations will use money raised to help areas in the Gulf Coast devastated by Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita. The online part of the auction continues on uBid.com through November 1, 2005. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

The federal government opened its case against Petters in 2008, freezing all his assets and those of others charged in the case.

Prosecutors said “Petters and the other defendants had created a vast web of more than 150 entities over the course of thirteen years – entities that were all propped up by fraud. Some of the entities, however, were legitimate businesses that employed innocent persons.” Those included Sun Country Airlines and Polaroid Corporation.

A judge appointed a receivership that essentially took control of the assets and managed them until the case was resolved.

On Friday, US Judge Ann. Montgomery issued an order closing the receivership that led to the distribution of more than $722 million to victims and creditors.

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