• January 18, 2010

The U.S. Government through the U.S. Attorney’s Office (D. Minn., B. Todd Jones, U.S. Attorney) moved for a preliminary order for forfeiture on Friday from businesses of convicted swindler Thomas J. Petters.

The breadth of Petters’ wrong-doing is breath-taking and, to give a feeling of the scale, note that Petters had $35,353,320,826.13 of deposits in a single bank account between January 1, 2003 and August 31, 2008 — a bit less than the GDP of Guatemala in 2008.

The U.S. Attorney’s motion (detailing accounts and property the government seeks to have forfeited) is after the break.

Query: how is money to be distributed as between victims of Petters’ fraud, trade creditors to Petters-related entities, and everyone else claiming an interest? How to reconcile the government’s power of forfeiture with bankruptcy law’s rules regarding distribution of assets? These are questions for a later day. This is merely a “preliminary” order and third party claims to the property are not addressed. But answers to these critical questions are not obvious. (Here (fee required) is an article on the subject.)

Petters Motion for Prelim Order Forfeiture height=”500″ width=”100%” > value=”http://d1.scribdassets.com/ScribdViewer.swf?document_id=25387085&access_key=key-1arboascri3k67ywtlkl&page=1&version=1&viewMode=list”>            

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