Recently Charged Petters Associate Pleads Not Guilty
Just a week after being indicted for several fraud charges relating to Tom Petters' multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme, James Fry-a 57-year-old man from Orono-has reportedly pleaded not guilty.
According to the Star Tribune, Fry pleaded not guilty in court on Tuesday to all of the charges he faces-five counts of securities fraud, four counts of wire fraud, and three counts of making a false statement to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission during its investigation of his company, Minnetonka-based Arrowhead Capital Management.
According to last week's indictment, Fry worked with another accused Petters co-conspirator named Frank Vennes, who allegedly served as one of Tom Petters' primary fundraisers.
Vennes was originally charged in April with four counts of securities fraud and one count of money laundering, but Minnesota's U.S. Attorney's office announced last week that additional charges have been added.
Last week's indictment alleges that both Fry and Vennes were aware of Petters' fraud, but they didn't disclose the information to investors and together received about $230 million in fees and commissions.
Vennes faces up to 20 years in prison on each mail, wire, and bank fraud count, as well as the false statement count. He faces up to 10 years on each money laundering count and up to five years for the securities fraud charge. Fry faces a maximum sentence of five years for each count.
Both of the men's trials are scheduled to begin in February, the Star Tribune reported.