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Petters associate released from jail

Tom Petters's associate Michael Catain lucked out yesterday. A federal judge released him from custody because he wasn't a flight risk. Catain pleaded guilty in October for his role in the alleged $3.5 billion Ponzi scheme.

We're sure his neighbors are just thrilled.

Petters is still in jail awaiting trial.

More from the Star Tribune:

U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson said Catain erred when he took $14,000 from his Excelsior car wash to pay personal and company bills without approval of the court-appointed receiver overseeing the Petters matter, but he later was able to account for nearly all the money.

"It does not appear that defendant took money properly belonging to the receiver with criminal intent or for some other nefarious purpose," Magnuson said in his order.

Catain has been in federal custody in the Sherburne County jail since the end of January.