Petters’ associate Vennes gets 15 years in prison

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A former associate of convicted Minnesota businessman Tom Petters has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for lying to investors about a $3.65 billion Ponzi scheme.

U.S. District Judge Richard Kyle on Friday sentenced Frank Vennes Jr. to the full amount called for in Vennes’ plea agreement with federal prosecutors. The Star Tribune ( ) reports attorneys for Vennes had sought a lesser sentence.

Vennes pleaded guilty in February to charges of securities fraud and money laundering.

For more than a decade, Vennes acted as a financial conduit between Petters and hedge funds in the Twin Cities and Florida. Vennes collected commissions exceeding $100 million for his efforts in raising money for Petters.

Petters was convicted in 2009 of orchestrating the Ponzi scheme and is serving a 50-year prison sentence.


Information from: Star Tribune,

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