Petters Judge Calls Leniency Bid 'One Final Con,' Upholds 50-Year Sentence

Dec 10 2013 | 12:07pm ET

Convicted Ponzi schemer Thomas Petters cannot have his plea deal back, a federal judge has ruled.

U.S. District Judge Richard Kyle, who presided over Petters' trial in 2009, rejected Petters' bid to have his 50-year sentence cut to 30 years. Kyle blasted the Ponzi schemer, all-but calling him a liar when he claims that his former lawyer, Jon Hopeman, failed to notify him about prosecutors' offer.

The judge said that Petters is "willing to say or do anything," and rejected his allegations that Hopeman was an ineffective advocate who never told him about the 30-year deal on the table.

"Staring into an abyss of nearly 15,000 days of incarceration, Petters has tried to pull off one final con," Kyle wrote. "He is entitled to neither relief nor sympathy from this court."

Petters' new lawyer, Steven Meshbesher, said that no decision on an appeal has been made. Petters, convicted of running a $3.65 billion scam, has been stymied three times on appeal so far.


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