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.)