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Petters Asks Full 8th Circuit To Rehear Appeal

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(credit: Sherburne County Jail)

(credit: Sherburne County Jail)

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Attorneys for Minnesota businessman Tom Petters have asked the full Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals to rehear his appeal of his conviction of running a $3.7 billion Ponzi scheme.

A three-judge panel denied Petters’ appeal two weeks ago. On Friday, his lawyers petitioned for a rehearing before the entire appeals court. They say his right to a public trial was violated when the trial judge barred them from publicly presenting evidence from secret Witness Security Program files about the criminal past of a key prosecution witness, Larry Reynolds, a disbarred attorney who was kicked out of the program.

They say excluding that evidence contradicts a 1984 Supreme Court ruling.

A jury found Petters guilty on 20 counts in 2009. The defense alleges Reynolds was the real mastermind of the scheme.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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