On Thursday, Thomas Petters, founder of Petters Group Worldwide, LLC, was sentenced to 50 years in prison for his involvement in a $3.5 billion fraud scheme – the largest fraud case in Minnesota history. Prosecutors claimed that Petters kept $82 million for himself and used $315 million for his struggling businesses, according to Bloomberg.
During the trial, prosecutors argued that Petters used Petters Company Inc. to lure investor funds for fake deals. Petters testified that the former CFO, Robert White, and Vice President, Deanna Coleman, committed the fraud without his knowledge. Bloomberg reports that both the White and Coleman pleaded guilty in the case.
“I will work the balance of my life, free or in prison, to repay what was lost,” Petters stated to U.S. Judge Richard Kyle prior to receiving his sentence. “Every day I am filled with pain and anguish for all whose lives were affected by this.”