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Come Saturday Morning: Frank, Tom and Michele’s Not-So-Happy Anniversary

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Last month saw, as the Minneapolis Star Tribune noted, the fifth anniversary of the implosion of the Tom Petters Ponzi scheme, the largest case of officially-recognized financial fraud in Minnesota.

The Strib’s coverage, within the narrow confines set by either the reporter or that reporter’s bosses, is pretty good. But the problem is that it’s narrow. The Petters scandal was never just a business scandal. The connections of Petters, and his close associate Frank Vennes, to Minnesota political figures like Michele Bachmann (who wrote a letter to then-president George W. Bush pushing for a pardon for Vennes) are a large part of the story, yet few people outside of the late Karl Bremer really gave it the treatment it deserved.

Beth Hawkins in MinnPost did a good update on Vennes a while back, but the gold standard for Vennes coverage is and will remain the Vennes Info blog, where the most recent post, that of October 18, notes that Frank Vennes was sentenced to 180 months in prison for his role in the Petters Ponzi Party.

Frank Vennes, whose son Denley claims (apparently truthfully) to have been a White House intern during the George W. Bush administration, and who could count Michele Bachmann and Norm Coleman among his high-powered friends, has now gone back to prison, possibly for the last time, because of Tom Petters and his Ponzi scheme.

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