ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A former associate of convicted Minnesota businessman Tom Petters has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for lying to investors about a $3.65 billion Ponzi scheme.
U.S. District Judge Richard Kyle on Friday sentenced Vennes to the full amount called for in Vennes' plea agreement with federal prosecutors. The Star Tribune (http://bit.ly/H1YlEZ ) reports attorneys for Vennes had sought a lesser sentence.
Vennes pleaded guilty in February to charges of securities fraud and money laundering.
For more than a decade, Vennes acted as a financial conduit between Petters and hedge funds in the Twin Cities and Florida. Vennes collected commissions exceeding $100 million for his efforts in raising money for Petters.
Petters was convicted in 2009 of orchestrating the Ponzi scheme and is serving a 50-year prison sentence.
Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com