Judge Approves Final Distribution of Funds to Vennes Victims in Ponzi Scheme

Judge Approves Final Distribution of Funds to Vennes Victims in Ponzi Scheme Photo: Wikimedia Commons

December 20, 2017 03:17 PM

A federal judge on Tuesday approved the final distribution of payments to victims of a Ponzi scheme perpetrated in part by ex-con Frank Vennes.

The $3.65 billion scheme was orchestrated by Minnesota businessman Tom Petters, who was convicted of fraud and sentenced to 50 years in 2009.

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RELATED: Final 3 Defendants Sentenced in Petters Scheme

Vennes, who was connected to Petters through Palm Beach Capital and Arrowhead Capital and helped bring investors to the scheme, was convicted of fraud in 2013 and sentenced to 15 years in prison.

On Tuesday, Judge Ann D. Montgomery issued the order to approve final payments to Vennes's victims and dissolve the trusteeship established to administer the funds, according to a release from the U.S. District Attorney's Office in Minneapolis.

In all, 22 victims or creditors were named. The trustee, Gary Hansen, was tasked with the liquidation of a complex web of assets ranging from multiple businesses; office buildings, apartment buildings and other real estate; a rare coin collection; as well as other assets spread across the country.

RELATED: Petters Case May Lead to Rules Change on Money Recovery

The total value of assets and cash distributed will total about $20 million, according to the release.

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Michael Oakes

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