St. Thomas to host forum on Petters fraud caseby Anissa Stocks, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — A prosecutor and two defense attorneys who were involved in the Petters fraud case will speak Wednesday at a public forum hosted by the University of St. Thomas law school.
Assistant U.S. Attorney John Marti and defense attorneys Allan Caplan and Joe Friedberg will discuss the trial of Minnesota businessman Tom Petters, who is serving a 50-year prison sentence for a Ponzi scheme that cost investors more than $3 billion.
Caplan represented Deanna Coleman, a close associate of Petters who reported the fraud to authorities. Friedberg represented Robert White, another Petters associate.
Wednesday's panel will also include Doug Kelley, the court-appointed trustee in the Petters bankruptcy case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney John Dixon, who acted as co-prosecutor in the trial and is an adjunct professor at the university's law school, will moderate the discussion.
Petters was once considered an influential Minnesota power-player. He bought companies including Sun Country Airlines and Polaroid and gave millions of dollars to charities. But it was later revealed that he had operated a ponzi scheme for about 10 years, paying off old investors with money from new investors.
Petters was found guilty last December on 20 counts of fraud, money laundering and conspiracy. He is currently serving his sentence in a federal penitentiary in Kansas.
The forum starts at 4 p.m. at the Schulze Grand Atrium on the university's Minneapolis campus. It's free and open to the public, but reservations are requested.