St. Paul, Minn. - Tom Petters, 52, the founder of the infamous Petters Company — which controlled the Polaroid brand — and mastermind of a $3.65 billion Ponzi scheme, was sentenced to 50 years in prison Thursday.
In issuing the sentence, U.S. District Court Judge Richard H. Kyle said he was not convinced Petters wouldn't commit further crimes if given a lesser sentence.
The sentence is the longest given for a financial fraud case in Minnesota history.
Petters was convicted of defrauding investors out of billions of dollars and property by convincing them to give the company money to purchase electronics goods for sale to retailers. Instead, Petters used the funds to make payments to other investors, fund his other businesses and use on himself.
Many of Petters' co-conspirators have pleaded guilty for their roles in the scheme, but have yet to be sentenced.