Part 3: Tom Petters: Giving that hurts

  • Article by: DAVID SHAFFER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 27, 2008 - 11:54 PM

Charities that invested with Tom Petters dropped the ball when it came to making wise choices with donated funds, experts say.

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lvonleheOct. 27, 08 9:05 PM

It usually is. Folks, if someone has a scheme for getting you more for your money than the other guy, you better beware. Investors and politicans. There is no difference. Both promise safety and eternal life.

karaokemonOct. 27, 08 9:15 PM

Praise the Lord and pass the cash. Some believers are so gullible. Just ask Robertson, Dobson, Ralph "Babyface" Reed, Swaggert, Karl Rove or George Bush.

rabbitearsOct. 27, 08 9:27 PM

If it sounds and looks to good, it usually is!

sullyOct. 27, 08 9:42 PM

So maybe they thought that God was giving them big financial returns. They have plenty of company with the "prosperity doctrine" crowd,as preached by the likes of Mac Hammond - our local spokesman for the notion of God handing out cash to true believers.

softwareOct. 27, 0810:13 PM

If Petters was, as indicated, paying a 24% return on their money over several years, what is the actual net loss to the non-profit? It would be interesting to know if they've actually gotten their money back one or more times, and then compare it to what they would have gotten with CD's at local banks. Perhaps the $800,000 "lost" has actually been repaid, looking at it in an unconventional way. Has anyone asked the non-profit how much they earned over the years? It would be an interesting analysis.

mannyheadOct. 27, 0810:18 PM

I feel sad about people, so simplistic, to be reduced down to only two emotions, greed and fear. Well, in this case, greed was the winner. As far as having a head on your shoulders, well it goes without saying, anyone who thinks they can get safely 20% per year on their money, well lets just say they're from the the island of Shiffer, if you know the joke !!!

thatdudeOct. 27, 0810:42 PM

He is supposedly out his 18.8 million dollar investment, but called it a "big break-even" and stated that he was more concerned about losing a friend, in Petters. One would have to know how long he invested, to know if he received it back in interest... But it sounds like the money was rolling in while it lasted. Perhaps the same can be said for these non-profits, but probably not. The problem is, these non-profits expanded thier ministries on account of these returns, their operating budgets relied on them. Now that the tap has been sealed, they are suffocating.

saintcroixOct. 27, 0810:52 PM

Frank Vennes Jr. and his wife have contributed $27,600 to Michele Bachmann's campaign committees since 2005--$9200 of it six months after Bachmann recommended Vennes for a presidential pardon. Vennes' brother and his wife have contributed another $8,400. Vennes' lawyer Craig Howse has contributed another $5,000. But when Vennes' involvemenet in the Petters' investigation became public, Bachmann donate the equivalent of one of the Vennes' donations to Teen Challenge. One big cozy family, isn't it? Why has Bachmann cut and run from Vennes when he hasn't even been charged? Read more about the Michele Bachmann-Frank Vennes-Tom Petters connection here:

rjf929Oct. 27, 0811:20 PM

You commented that "anyone who thinks they can get safely 20% per year on their money..." Petters' scheme was promising 18-20% PER MONTH!! P E R M O N T H!! Not per year as you state. No wonder no one did their due diligence - THEY DIDN'T WANT TO (as long as it was paying)!!!

wecandoitOct. 27, 0811:21 PM

Why are "non-profits" investing in anything but bonds or guaranteed bank CDs? Too bad for you, don't give us a sob story and don't blame it all on Petters.


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