Republican Presidential Candidate Hit With Petters Clawback Suit

Dec 7 2011 | 1:51am ET

A bankrupt hedge fund is suing Republican presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann to recover campaign contributions she received from Ponzi scheme Thomas Petters' chief fundraiser.

Bachmann, a congresswoman from Minnesota, received $27,600 from Vennes between 2005 and 2008. Bachmann had pushed for a presidential pardon for Vennes, who is now accused of fraud and money laundering in Petter's $3.65 billion fraud, although she withdrew he letter of support after Vennes was linked to Petters.

The clawback lawsuit filed by Barry Mukamal, the trustee for Palm Beach Capital Management's funds, does not accuse Bachmann of any wrongdoing or knowledge of the Petters fraud.

Palm Beach's principals, David Harrold and Bruce Prevost, pleaded guilty to misleading investors in April. According to prosecutors and the Securities and Exchange Commission, Palm Beach swapped old promissory notes it bought from Petters for new ones, hiding the exchanges from investors. Palm Beach's assets made up more than $1 billion of the $3.65 billion invested in the Petters Ponzi scheme.

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