Petters Asks For New Sentence; Crown Bank Faces Clawback

The receiver in the Tom Petters case is reportedly seeking $2 million from Crown Bank related to proceeds from two of Petters’ properties. Meanwhile, Petters’ attorney argued again that Petters’ 50-year sentence should be reduced.

Edina-based Crown Bank reportedly faces a second “clawback” lawsuit tied to business conducted with convicted Ponzi schemer Tom Petters, who is currently asking for a reduced prison sentence.

That’s according to two recent Star Tribune stories. Doug Kelley—the court-appointed attorney who is using such clawback lawsuits to recover money for investors and creditors—has previously argued that Petters had a special, and suspicious, relationship with the bank, allegations that Crown Bank has refuted.

Kelley’s latest action against the bank focuses on proceeds from Petters’ former residence in Plymouth and from a luxury Colorado home, the Star Tribune reported. The lawsuit reportedly alleges that the day after Petters’ offices were raided, Petters granted Crown Bank an interest in two of his properties—and Kelly aims to obtain $2 million from the bank, alleging that the bank participated in a fraudulent transfer, as it didn’t receive the property transfers in good faith.

An attorney for the bank told the Star Tribune that the bank will seek immediate dismissal of the lawsuit, saying the suit is essentially a repeat of the government’s unsuccessful attempt during Petters’ criminal case to have the properties forfeited.

To learn more about the latest clawback lawsuit, read the full Star Tribune story here.

Meanwhile, Petters’ new attorney, Steve Meshbesher, argued Monday that Petters should receive a hearing to determine whether he is entitled to a lesser sentence. Petters in May began pushing for a more lenient sentence, arguing that his prior attorney, Jon Hopeman, never told him about a pretrial offer from prosecutors to cap his punishment at 30 years in exchange for a guilty plea. (Petters was sentenced in 2010 to 50 years in prison.)

Hopeman and a federal prosecutor responded that Petters not only knew about a potential plea deal offer, but he also rejected it several times.

In the latest court filing, Meshbesher wrote that the first time the offer was discussed was after Petters’ trial and conviction, according to a Star Tribune report. Meshbesher’s latest filing is the last of a series of briefs to be filed on the matter, and the issue is now in the judge’s hands, the Minneapolis newspaper reported.