Judge says Petters must forfeit several homes

Businessman Tom Petters, who was convicted of leading a $3.5 billion Ponzi scheme, must forfeit several homes to the federal government, including a Lake Minnetonka mansion, according to a ruling issued Wednesday from U.S. District Court Judge Richard Kyle.

Kyle ruled the properties were obtained with money traceable to Petters' Ponzi scheme, and therefore they are subject to forfeiture. They'll be sold to create a pool of money to help compensate Petters' victims.

The properties include a home where Petters' girlfriend and their two children are living, and an estate on Lake Minnetonka. The 9,400-square-foot home is on the market for $6.3 million.

Kyle wrote that Petters is unlkely to overturn his conviction on appeal because the government's evidence at trial was "overwhelming."

Petters will be sentenced April 8, and the federal government is seeking a life term.

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