Petters wants 50-year sentence thrown out - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Petters wants 50-year sentence thrown out

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A Minnesota businessman convicted in 2009 of running a $3.5 billion Ponzi scheme is now trying to get his 50-year prison sentence thrown out.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that Tom Petters is claiming his defense attorney never told him that prosecutors had offered a 30-year prison sentence in exchange for a guilty plea. Petters' new attorney, Steven Meshbesher, made the claim in court papers filed Friday.

The documents say that both before and after Petters was indicted on 20 counts of fraud, his former attorney, Jon Hopeman, talked with prosecutors about a deal.

Hopeman tells the Pioneer Press Meshbesher put his court filing together based on only some of Hopeman's papers from the case.

Petters is set to be released in 2052, just before his 95th birthday.

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