| Crime |

Dallas Investment Firm Claims Tom Petters's $3-Billion Ponzi Scheme Cost It $24 Million

First there was Bernie Madoff; then, Alan Stanford. Then came Minnesota's Tom Petters, who, as The Wall Street Journal documented in April, was popped by federal authorities who claimed he operated a $3-billion Ponzi scheme built upon his taking investors' hard-earned scratch to buy flat-screen TVs and other electronic whatchamacallits that he would then resell to Big Box stores like Sam's Club and Costco. Seemed awfully, dunno, GoodFellas -- but, look, it really didn't matter anyway, because "there were no such purchases or resales," said a December federal indictment that went largely unnoticed since, at the time, a $3-billion Ponzi scheme seemed awfully penny ante compared to Madoff's $50 billion and Stanford's $8 billion scams. Petters instead used the dough to live quite the high life, though he's since traded in the $7.8-million home for something a little cozier.

But there are a whole bunch of locals who do care about this case, chief among 'em people who invested with Petters via Dallas-based SSR Capital Partners. Courthouse News today provides us with the lawsuit the Cole Avenue-based firm filed in Dallas County District Court, in which SSR claims that $24 million of the $3 billion Petters lost belongs to its investors. Petters, indicted on 20 counts ranging from wire fraud to conspiracy, is due to stand trial in September.

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