Lawyer Says Petters Was Informed of Possible Plea Deal

Tom Petters’ former defense attorney and a federal prosecutor claim that Petters was not only aware of a potential plea deal, but he also rejected it several times.

Tom Petters, who is currently serving a 50-year prison sentence for orchestrating a $3.65 billion Ponzi scheme, recently asked that his sentence be thrown out, claiming that his former attorney, Jon Hopeman, withheld a government plea offer.

But Hopeman and a federal prosecutor fired back in a Monday court filing, arguing that Petters not only knew about a potential plea deal offer that may have given him a 30-year sentence, but he also rejected it several times, according to a Star Tribune report.

The filing ran more than 100 pages and included e-mails and photocopies of Petters’ own handwritten notes, the Minneapolis newspaper reported. Hopeman claims that each time they discussed the government’s proposed 30-year cap, Petters rejected it.

In his response, Assistant U.S. Attorney John Marti reportedly said that the 30-year offer was only tentative—but even if Hopeman hadn’t told Petters about it, that wouldn’t matter, because Petters has maintained his innocence.

Petters’ new defense attorney, Steven Meshbesher, has until June 24 to file a reply brief.

To read the full Star Tribune story, click here.

Last year, Petters asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review his conviction, although the Supreme Court denied his petition.

Petters broke his silence last year, speaking from prison in an exclusive interview with Twin Cities Business Editor in Chief Dale Kurschner. To read the resulting feature story, click here.