U.S. Supreme Court Denies Request to Review Petters Case

Tom Petters asked the nation's highest court to review his case, but the court has denied his petition.

The U.S. Supreme Court has denied Tom Petters' request that the court review his conviction, and yet the convicted former businessman remains defiant.

The Supreme Court on Monday issued a list of recent orders, and Petters' request was one of many that were labeled “denied.” The document contained no details regarding why the court rejected the petition.

Petters' attorney Jon Hopeman filed the petition with the Supreme Court in April. That move came after Petters' appeal was denied by a lower court: A three-judge 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel upheld Petters' conviction and sentence, as did the full 8th Circuit Court.

On Tuesday, Petters told Twin Cities Business in an e-mailed statement sent from a Kansas prison that he “never had much faith” that the Supreme Court would hear his case. He said he now intends to file a writ of habeas corpus, a method by which a prisoner may claim that he or she is being unlawfully detained. Petters added that he will “never give up” and the “judicial system will eventually see what really happened and I will be vindicated.”

Petters was convicted in 2009 of 20 counts of fraud, conspiracy, and money laundering after a month-long trial. A jury found that he had orchestrated a $3.65 billion Ponzi scheme. Petters received his 50-year prison sentence in 2010.

Petters' appeal to the Supreme Court included many of the same arguments presented in his original appeal. It argued that the trial judge had barred the defense from presenting evidence about Larry Reynolds-a prosecution witness that Petters' attorneys said has a long criminal history and perpetrated the fraud without Petters' knowledge. The petition also stated that Petters' sentence is disproportionate to that of his co-conspirators.

 

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