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.

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Comments (10)
  1. Murph says:

    Maybe he promised the judges 1/2 of 3.7 billion dollars to let him off! Trust no one!

    1. Larry says:

      petter’s you got your day in court…costing us taxpayers plenty!! now just go away!!!! Mn’s had enough of you!! you DID the CRIME now you’re going to DO the TIME like it or lump it!!! you did it to yourself buddy!! time to pay the piper!! tell your lawyers to get a clue.

  2. Joe the Prosecutor says:

    “…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”

    If my witness was a lame-ass criminal I wouldn’t want the defense to present that fact in court either.

  3. Luke says:

    Give it up Petters!!!! your ‘gig’ is up, the law caught up with ya, your sins have found you out…and now you have the rest of your life to sit in prison and think about how much better it would of been had you been an honest person.

  4. We love you Tom says:

    I think everyone deserves a second chance. Tom has spent enough time in jail. He would bring jobs to our community and must let him out on a legal technical error

    1. Charlotte says:

      You were sleeping with him too?

    2. Luke says:

      ‘he would bring jobs to our community’ what a joke!! yea under fraudulant business practices!!! the guys a crook and always will be…you who love Tom so much, love him behind bars!!! thats where he deserves to be. its called punishment for a crime that he knowingly and willfully committed…period!!! Happy 50 yrs Tom-baby!!

  5. Dave Seavy says:

    Should it really read FORMER BUSINESSMAN? He’s no longer a Minnesota business man; he’s a convicted felon in federal prison.

  6. bubbas friend says:

    he won’t be able to pay off big bubba and this friends in prison

  7. Leroy says:

    It’s surprising it took the authorities so long to catch this crook. I did business with Petters a number of years ago and it was obvious the company was not selling anything!! My questions as to what they actually did went unanswered. Everyone who worked there had to know it was scheme of some sort.
    He kept people employed with stolen money.