ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO/AP) — Convicted Minnesota businessman Tom Petters returns to federal court this week to try to shorten his 50-year prison term.
The attempt to get 20 years removed might be Petters’ last chance to go after a lighter sentence.
Petters is set to take the stand Wednesday in St. Paul. The main witnesses against him at the hearing will be the attorneys who defended him during his 2009 jury trial.
He was convicted on 20 counts of fraud, conspiracy and money laundering in a $3.65 billion Ponzi scheme.
At the heart of the hearing is whether federal prosecutors offered Petters a plea deal with a sentence capped at 30 years, whether Petters’ attorneys relayed that offer to him, and whether he had an opportunity to accept it.
His defense team will argue that the plea deal was discussed on numerous occasions but was rejected each time.
Twin Cities attorney Joseph Friedberg says he doubts Petters will come out victorious.