Petters Group raid updates

Federal officials raided the Petters Group headquarters in Minnetonka this morning and it appears they are still there at this moment. Read the back story on Blotter.

Check after the jump for the updates we've gathered on the situation:

Star Tribune:

Employees inside were excused for the rest of the work day and won't be allowed back inside until the search is concluded, McCabe said.

Tom Petters, chief executive officer of Petters Group Worldwide, was not at the Minnetonka headquarters when the search warrant was executed, said Petters spokewoman Andrea Miller.

She declined to say where Petters is today.

"We don't have any comment on the investigation. We are in conversation with [officials] to learn more about it."

However, Miller added, "We do believe that this is related just within Petters Group [the parent company] and that it does not affect Sun Country Airlines, Polaroid or Fingerhut."

About 160 employees work at the Petters headquarters, and Miller said that all were asked to leave the building while it was searched.

At midday today, the main entrance was blocked by a Minnetonka police car, and a delivery person was turned away. About two dozen vehicles, all connected to law enforcement were in the parking lot.

MPR takes a look at Tom Petters and pulled out some interesting facts:

Petters started the "bottom feeder" businesses when he was 15, selling audio equipment out of his parents' home when the stereo shop he worked in went out of business. He doesn't have an MBA, he dropped out of college after one term, and he owns a house in Minnetonka valued at $5 million. He also has a mansion in Florida.

And he's well-connected politically, giving large amounts of money to both Republicans (Sen. Norm Coleman) and Democrats (Rep. Jim Oberstar and state Sen. Terri Bonoff). lists over $8,700 in political contributions this year.

Petters' son was killed in Italy during a college break in 2004. He donated $10 million to his son's school in his memory.

Many of his company's Web sites -- including the foundation set up in memory of his son -- are not operating today.

We will update if Federal investigators release details on the search warrant or the raid.

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