Former Petters officer charged with more than $100 million in fraud

An ex-Petters officer is the first to be charged in the major federal fraud investigation against Petters Group Worldwide.

Robert Dean White, of Excelsior, was charged Tuesday in U.S. District Court for allegedly creating false purchase orders to trick investors. He allegedly made millions of dollars for the scheme.

According to the Associated Press:

White's house, office and two vehicles were searched by federal agents last week as part of a broad investigation into Petters Co. Inc., a financial unit of Petters Group Worldwide.

White's attorney had no comment on Tuesday.

Although Petters' CEO, Tom Petters, is not named directly in the affidavit, the charging documents provide the public with some of the potential scenarios Petters worked under:

According to an affidavit filed in court Friday with the search warrants, investors were given false documents that indicated PCI was purchasing merchandise from small vendors, then reselling that same merchandise to large stores such as BJ's Wholesale Club and Sam's Club. "The purchase orders and other documents in support of the transactions are entirely fabricated," the affidavit said.

The charging document filed Tuesday doesn't refer to PCI, but only mentions, "Company A." It says Company A has more than $3 billion in debt, mostly from the alleged fraudulent scheme that it says took place over the last 13 years.

"The vast majority of the fraud proceeds went to Company A and Individual A, and were then used to fund the operations of other companies owned by Individual A, to pay others who assisted in the fraud scheme, and for Individual A's extravagant lifestyle," the charging document said. Individual A is not named.

Petters resigned from his management duties Tuesday after telling his employees he didn't want the investigation interfering with day-to-day work. We are guessing he is taking full advantage of his life in the free world before he is charged with some serious allegations. Spend that cash while you have it, buddy!

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