This website provides information from the United States Attorney's office for the District of Minnesota about a remission process being administered by the U.S. Department of Justice through which victims of the fraud scheme perpetrated by Thomas J. Petters and others may receive partial compensation for their losses.
On September 8, 2008, Deanna Coleman walked into the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Minnesota, and revealed that for more than 10 years, she had assisted local businessman Thomas Joseph Petters ("Petters") execute a multi-billion dollar fraud scheme. Coleman claimed that Petters and others fabricated business documents to fraudulently induce investors to lend Petters money, purportedly to finance Petters' purchase of electronic goods which would then be sold to big box retailers such as Costco and Sam's Club. Over the next 16 days, Coleman secretly recorded multiple conversations with Petters. On September 24, 2008, the Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI"), together with other Federal agencies, executed a search warrant on the headquarters of Petters Company, Inc. ("PCI") and Petters Group Worldwide ("PGW") in Minnetonka, Minnesota, and other locations, seizing records of PCI, PGW and Petters. Five days later, Petters resigned all positions with PCI, PGW, and related entities.
A grand jury indicted Petters, Petters Company Inc., and Petters Group Worldwide on multiple counts. The Indictment included forfeiture allegations seeking the forfeiture of assets. On December 2, 2009, Petters was found guilty of 20 counts of fraud, conspiracy, and money laundering. Other individuals have pled guilty in connection with the fraud scheme, including Deanna Coleman, Larry Reynolds, Michael Catain, Robert White, and James Wemhoff.
The Petters fraud scheme has given rise to considerable additional litigation. On October 2, 2008, the United States filed a civil action against Petters and others to enjoin the ongoing fraud, and restrain assets. Douglas A. Kelley, a Minnesota attorney, was subsequently appointed as Receiver for Petters, PCI, PGW and other business entities associated with Petters. For several years, Douglas Kelley has been working as a Receiver to recover assets for the victims and creditors of the Petters' fraud scheme.
In October 2008, Douglas Kelley, in his capacity as federal court-appointed receiver, filed federal bankruptcy petitions commencing bankruptcy proceedings as to PCI, PGW, and other business entities associated with Petters. The bankruptcy proceedings are ongoing.
Under federal law, the United States is authorized to seek the criminal forfeiture of assets that are involved in or traceable to violations of various federal laws, including fraud and money laundering. The United States has sought the criminal forfeiture of assets from Thomas Petters, and other defendants, including Larry Reynolds, Michael Catain, Deanna Coleman, and Robert White. Criminal or civil forfeiture may also be obtained against other individuals. The government intends to return the proceeds of assets forfeited from these individuals to victims of the Petters' fraud scheme.
CLAIMS FOR REMISSION
Victims of the Thomas J. Petters fraud scheme may be eligible to receive compensation for their losses through a process called remission. Under federal law, the United States Department of Justice, Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section, is authorized to return the proceeds of forfeited assets to crime victims. The remissions process is authorized by federal law, including Title 28, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 9. For additional information about this case and the remissions process, please click the links on the left for How to File for Remission, Important Case Documents, and Frequently Asked Questions.
You may also visit the United States Attorney's Office website at www.justice.gov/usao/mn/petters.html.
New Deadline to Submit Petition Forms
The deadline to submit Petition Forms has been extended to October 24, 2012. To ensure timely processing, you Petition Form must be received by the Petters Remission Administrator no later than October 24, 2012.