Wanted: Anyone willing to defend Petters for table scraps


Lawyers for Minnesota businessman Tom Petters are pretty pissed. Would you want to defend this guy for table scraps? Doubtful.

Well, they are requesting the big bucks for their work and the U.S. Attorney's office has asked the court to limit or cap attorney's fees to save the money for those who have allegedly lost out in the Petters Ponzi scheme. The lawyers are currently protesting the decision, claiming they are owed $500,000 for their work so far and that a proper defense for this man will cost $5 million.

That's like burning money in a giant bonfire.

Petters is accused of bilking investors more than $3.5 billion in a Ponzi investment scheme. He has been charge in a federal indictment and could be sentenced to life in prison if found guilty.

More from the Pioneer Press:

In court filings Monday, Petters' lawyers said they are owed more than $500,000. They say an objection raised by the government late last week regarding the continued payment of Petters' defense has prompted them to wonder if they'll ever get paid or have the money to mount a proper defense.

On those grounds, they've asked either that the charges against Petters be dismissed or that they be allowed to withdraw their representation. They estimate a proper defense will cost at least $5 million.

Junior attorneys at the law firm representing Petters have been instructed to stop reviewing documents, Petters' lawyer Jon Hopeman said Monday. And investigators sent out to track down evidence for his defense have been called back.

In essence, Petters' attorneys charge government "meddling." In a civil court filing Friday, the U.S. Attorney's office suggested that the court limit or cap attorneys fees paid from frozen funds in order to preserve assets for restitution to Petters' alleged victims.