ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Convicted Minnesota businessman Tom Petters returns to federal court this week to try to shorten his 50-year prison term. The attempt to get 20 years removed might be Petters' last chance to go after a lighter sentence. Petters is to take the stand Wednesday in St. Paul.
The main witnesses against him at the hearing will be the attorneys who defended him during his 2009 jury trial. He was convicted on 20 counts of fraud, conspiracy and money laundering in a $3.65 billion Ponzi scheme. At the heart of the hearing is whether federal prosecutors offered Petters a plea deal with a sentence capped at 30 years, whether Petters' attorneys relayed that offer to him, and whether he had an opportunity to accept it.