Tom Petters took the stand and talked about growing up in Saint Cloud and his start in the merchandise diverting business. In the morning, Steve Ratliff, former President of Red Tag testified
about working for Tom Petters. He testified that Tom Petters was
loved by his employees and gave lots of money to charity. On
redirect, Assistant U.S. Attorney John Marti asked Ratliff about Tom
Petters's posh homes, cars and showed pictures of the PCI corporate
jet. Ratliff said Petters used the jet for business and pleasure.
A few more people testified; A shipping manger, an accountant who
wasn't allowed to look at bank statements, Tom Petters's speechwriter
and the human resource manager at Petters Worldwide... but everyone,
including Tracy Mixon, Tom Petters's fiancee was waiting for the main
event - the testimony of Tom Petters.
Tom Petters took the stand at four o'clock and talked about growing
up in Saint Cloud and his start in the merchandise diverting
business. Petters said the merchandise diverting business had a lot
of people who did nasty stuff like bounce checks. He admitted he
bounced checks too.
Petters said he said he was not guilty. He admitted participating in
the fraud, but blamed others he said he trusted too much.
Tom Petters will testify again tomorrow.