Petters partner Vennes is facing more fraud charges
- July 12, 2012 - 7:27 PM
A federal grand jury has added four new fraud counts to the indictment against Frank Vennes Jr., the onetime partner and alleged co-conspirator with former Wayzata businessman Tom Petters who was convicted and sent to prison for his role in a $3.65 billion Ponzi scheme.
The additional counts against Vennes -- three for wire fraud and one for mail fraud -- allege that Vennes used a third party to create a false "executive summary" of his financial dealings with Petters to entice new investors to provide funds to the scheme, which involved the purported purchase and sale of consumer electronics goods.
According to the summary to investors, the government contends, Vennes claimed that he verified all transactions by contacting the supplier and purchaser of the goods prior to investing in the transaction. In reality, however, there were no goods being bought and sold; the new funds were being used to pay off older investments.
Vennes already faces 24 counts on various charges of fraud, money laundering and making false statements on credit applications.
Along with hedge fund manager James Fry, another alleged Petters co-conspirator, Vennes faces an Oct. 1 trial date on the charges.
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