The story of Tom Petters—a Minnesota scam artist who orchestrated a convoluted and gargantuan Ponzi scheme that grew to over $36 billion…
Mariah Blake in The New Republic:
Just after dawn on a cool morning in September 2008, two FBI agents and a police officer walked into the Bellagio Casino in Las Vegas and took the security elevator up to the twenty-third floor, where they knocked on the door of a high-roller haven known as the Grand Lakeview Suite. A Minnesota businessman named Tom Petters answered wrapped in a bathrobe. After a moment’s hesitation, he invited them in. The officer searched the bedrooms and closets to make sure no one was listening, and the FBI agents began peppering Petters with questions.
Then, suddenly, Petters’s Blackberry started ringing. At that moment, 1,700 miles away in the leafy suburb of Minnetonka, Minnesota, more than 50 government agents were swarming into the parking lot of Petters Company Incorporated (PCI). The agents entered the building, ordered everyone out, and began opening safes and rummaging through file drawers. Another team of agents descended on Petters’s mansion overlooking Lake Minnetonka, where they moved from room to room snapping photos and stuffing Petters’s belongings into cardboard boxes.