Doug Kelley Leads “Clawback Incorporated”

Trustee Doug Kelley is tasked with recovering funds for victims of Tom Petters' Ponzi scheme-and to do so, he has filed some 200 "clawback" lawsuits. In the process of tracking down assets, he's established a business machine that has generated more than $50 million in fees.

The effects of the $3.78 billion Ponzi scheme spearheaded by former Wayzata businessman Tom Petters did not dissolve when he was sentenced in April to 50 years in prison.

Minneapolis attorney Doug Kelley, who was named receiver and appointed bankruptcy trustee for many of Petters’ companies, is leading the sticky process of tracking down funds to repay investors victimized by the massive scheme.

His duty is to recover as much money as possible for victims of the fraud-and to do so, he’s filed some 200 “clawback” lawsuits seeking upwards of $18.4 billion from investors, former Petters employees, banks, and even charities. He most recently filed a suit against JPMorgan Chase.

In the process of tracking down funds, Kelley has established somewhat of a business machine-call it “Clawback Incorporated,” if you will-that has generated more than $50 million in fees for Kelley’s Minneapolis firm, the businesses assisting it, and other attorneys working on Petters-related cases.

The biggest clawback suits are against large investors, but Kelley’s firm also is going after smaller fish with what seems like equal ferocity-including colleges and charities to which Petters and his entities made donations.