Judge denies Minn. businessman Petters' appeal - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Judge denies Minn. businessman Petters' appeal

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- A federal judge has denied convicted Minnesota businessman Tom Petters' appeal for a shorter sentence.

In a ruling issued Thursday, U.S. District Judge Richard Kyle said Petters "has tried to pull off one final con" by seeking a shorter sentence.

Petters was convicted in 2009 of running a $3.5 billion fraud scheme. He sought to have 20 years cut off his 50-year prison sentence.

At a hearing in October, Petters admitted his guilt. He said he would have accepted a 30-year plea deal but he was only told of the possible offer after he was sentenced.

But Kyle determined that Petters' attorneys repeatedly told him of the government's offer.

The judge wrote: "Petters' last-ditch attempt to escape just punishment for his crimes does not hold water."

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