US Supreme Court declines review in Petters' Ponzi case

Tue May 15, 2012 8:40pm EDT

May 15 (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court said it will not review the conviction of Tom Petters, a Minnesota businessman serving a 50-year prison term for running what prosecutors called a $3.65 billion Ponzi scheme.

Prosecutors accused Petters, 54, of bilking investors who thought he was using their money to buy consumer electronics for resale to retailers such as BJ's Wholesale Club Inc and Costco Wholesale Corp.

Petters was convicted by a federal jury in December 2009 and sentenced four months later.

In December, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the conviction, rejecting Petters' argument that the trial judge had barred him from fully challenging the credibility of a key prosecution witness.

The Supreme Court's denial of Petters' request to review his case was made public in a brief order this week. Petters has maintained his innocence. He is serving his sentence at a federal prison in Leavenworth, Kansas.

The case is Petters v. U.S., U.S. Supreme Court, No. 11-1238.

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