Monks To Return Petters Gift

Dec 22 2009 | 9:46am ET

More evidence that convicted hedge fund fraudster Thomas Petters will be getting nothing but coal on Friday: A Minnesota monastery has agreed to hand over the $2 million it received from Petters’ charitable foundation.

The monks of St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville will also rename the Petters Pavilion, an expansion of its chapter house built with the Petters money two years ago. The $3.65 billion Ponzi scheme mastermind had made the gift in honor of his parents, who worshipped at the abbey church.

“It’s what you have to do,” Paul Vincent-Niebauer, one of the monks, told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “We know the parents. They are marvelous. We are feeling really sorry for them.”

The monks said they are negotiating the terms of the return with Douglas Kelley, the court-appointed receiver for Petters’ business empire, which once included Polaroid Corp. and Sun Country Airlines.

Petters was convicted earlier this month on 20 counts of fraud and money laundering. He faces up to life in prison when he is sentenced.


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