Trevor Cook's reign of greed ends behind bars

Trevor Cook preyed on the good will, and often the religious faith of hundreds of victims to run a tawdry, $190 million scam out of the Van Dusen Mansion in Minneapolis. Now he's going to prison for a very long time.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge James M. Rosenbaum sent the 38-year-old Apple Valley swindler away for 25 years, referring to him as "retched."

Instead of giving his roughly 900 investors a promised windfall from what they thought was a foreign currency trading operation, Cook tried to hide millions in offshore accounts. He blew a pile of cash on gambling, fancy cars, a houseboat, a private submarine, expensive watches and Faberge eggs. And he bought the famed Van Dusen property for $2.8 million in 2007 with his ill-gotten gains.

But the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the IRS, were on his tail. He landed in jail last January, where he stayed because he refused to hand over more than $35 million in frozen assets. But evidently he's had a change of heart. Under terms of his sentence, he agreed to government reclaim his assets and repay victims.

The Van Dusen mansion, meanwhile, has been sold to Jeffrey Anderson. He's the St. Paul attorney spearheading a global campaign against sexual abuse by priests in the Catholic church.

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