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
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.