Another Petters associate pleads guilty, judges stop lawsuits


Larry Reynolds pleaded guilty in federal court for money laundering associated with the alleged $3 billion Ponzi scheme of Tom Petters, according to the Star Tribune.

Reynolds faces up to 20 years in prison for his involvement.

Details from the Star Tribune:

Reynolds, 65, of Las Vegas, said in U.S. District Court in St. Paul that beginning in 2002, he set up a bank account at his Los Angeles firm, Nationwide International Resources, and used it to fool investors into thinking that the money was used to buy high-end electronics on behalf of Petters.

About $12 billion was routed through the account, Reynolds said. Numerous wire transactions were funneled through the account each month, generally ranging from $2 million to $25 million. The money was not used to buy electronics, however.

After the money came in, Reynolds instead forwarded it to Petters, less a commission. At first, Reynolds said, the commission amounted to five-hundredths of a percent of the amount transferred, but that was eventually reduced to about a hundredth of a percent. Reynolds said he collected about $6 million on such transfers.

Reynolds, dressed in a black t-shirt and dark slacks, pleaded guilty to money-laundering conspiracy. The federal sentencing guidelines, which are advisory, call for 210 to 240 months in prison, a fine of between $20,000 and $200,000, and up to three years of supervised release.

He agreed to assist authorities with the case. Of five defendants charged in the case, only Petters has proclaimed his innocence. The others pleaded guilty and await sentencing.

We were hoping to hear some more from Petters during his appearance to be released on bond while the case is built against him, but that hearing was postponed to Oct. 31. He has been in jail since Oct. 3.

In other Petters news, his former company is being sued by so many other companies and people that a judge stopped them.

Another federal judge dealing with bankruptcy petitions from Petters' businesses also agreed Wednesday to consolidate them into a single case.

More than 30 civil lawsuits are now pending in multiple states and more than a dozen companies are filing bankruptcy.

And the misery continues... We wonder if Las Vegas misses Petters these days.