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Trustee: More millions available to those who lost money to Petters' scheme

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Lawyer Douglas Kelley
Lawyer Douglas Kelley, bankruptcy trustee, addresses the media following the sentencing of Tom Petters for fraud on Thursday, April, 8, 2010.
MPR News Photo/Steve Mullis

There's more money to help compensate organizations and individuals who lost billions in a huge Ponzi scheme. Businessman Tom Petters was sentenced in 2010 to 50 years in prison for the fraud. 

Douglas Kelley, the  trustee in the bankruptcy of Petters' business empire, is still looking for money to compensate victims. Kelley says he has collected another $17 million. 

"It's clawbacks, and settlements with employees and all kinds of different things," Kelley said. "Part of this was a distribution from the old Fingerhut, which became Bluestem. When it was bought, they made a large distribution to us."

Kelley said that investors and creditors ended up losing $2 billion. So far, he has recovered about a half billion dollars  to compensate them.   

Kelley has squeezed cash from Petters' personal holdings, as well as companies that Petters owned and people who worked with Petters. 

Petters' business empire included Sun Country Airlines, the Fingerhut catalog company and Polaroid. 

Money from investors supported Petters' companies and his extravagant lifestyle for more than a decade.