Hedge Fund Sues Petters Execs, Fredrikson & Byron

Ritchie Capital Management filed a civil racketeering suit against Petters' executives and in-house counsel, as well as Fredrikson & Byron, which reportedly performed legal work for Petters' businesses.

Chicago-based hedge fund Ritchie Capital Management has sued several of Tom Petters' former associates, as well as his outside law firm, Minneapolis-based Fredrikson & Byron, P.A.

Ritchie filed a civil racketeering suit in federal court in Minnesota on February 2. The Pioneer Press reported on the lawsuit, which named as defendants Petters' in-house counsel David Baer; Fredrikson & Byron; Fredrikson attorney Simon Root; and several Petters executives-including Deanna Coleman and Petters himself, who is serving a 50-year prison sentence for orchestrating a $3.65 billion Ponzi scheme.

The suit states that Fredrikson had performed legal work for Petters' businesses for a decade, and it alleges that the defendants schemed to defraud Ritchie of its security interest in Polaroid Holding Company, which was acquired by Petters, the Pioneer Press reported.

Tom Cronin, an attorney for Ritchie, told the St. Paul newspaper that the filing comes as the statute of limitations for a racketeering lawsuit nears.

In a statement provided to the Pioneer Press, Fredrikson said that “the lawsuit has no merit and will be dismissed because it does not describe a single fact that would support a claim that our law firm did anything wrong or had any knowledge whatsoever of the Petters fraud.”

Read the full Pioneer Press story here.