The woman who brought down Tom Petters

  • Article by: DAVID PHELPS and JON TEVLIN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 2, 2008 - 7:16 AM

She came from humble beginnings but quickly grew accustomed to the millionaire lifestyle she learned from and could afford because of her boss and mentor. It was only when she lost faith in the unscrupulous business practices in which she took part that Deanna Coleman turned to the FBI.

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metadataNov. 1, 08 4:26 PM

He knew all about it.

nharrierNov. 1, 08 5:39 PM

She's good. If you read in depth about this story, you will find that some investors, including charities, were feeling very nervous in the last year or so, as they were not receiving some payments. This house of cards was about to collapse. Fifteen years into it, after 330k/year and 8 million dollars in bonuses, she feels guilt. Riiight! She is better at it than Petters. She'll get off with less time.

krasrrpNov. 1, 08 5:49 PM

"She was deeply troubled by the scale" so if it would have been not so large that would be ok to still screw people - wow they all need to have the book thrown at them! That money really ran your life didn't it. Materialistic creeps all of them! Status due to their stolen income made them think they were better than everyone and could buy there way out of trouble. Incredible mentality at work here! In the real world most hard working Americans live in; you do wrong and thats it you pay for the crime not a really tuff decision - oh yea but how could I forget - you guys thought your money and status made you exempt from the rules of the world. WELCOME to reality~ enjoy!

johnnyonspotNov. 1, 08 6:30 PM

I imagine he got a nice tidy sum of cash, real estate, cars, what have you. And since the divorce is final, and that property has thus been awarded to him, and is now his alone, I can't see him being forced to give it back. Like winning the lottery for this guy.

krasrrpNov. 1, 08 6:44 PM

show up in court in his jammies and furry ughs?

mpcdspNov. 1, 08 6:57 PM

. . .but I think nharrier, you've nailed it. It just doesn't ring true that someone who has acted completely without conscience for fifteen years suddenly develops one. The exception: a true act of divine grace, which I believe is possible. I hope so, for her sake. If, and I mean IF, it is true that by coming forward she has committed herself to a lifetime of poverty, that speaks in favor of a true change of heart. The forensic accountants will probably find out if she managed to squirrel anything away.

bluelinegophNov. 1, 08 7:00 PM

Just as guilty as Petters, being the first to the authorities was simply an act of seeing the fruad coming undone and covering her self. I only hope she was able to sell off her holdings before coming forward; too bad all those charities, churches, and retirment account holders didn't have the same luxury.

reelingNov. 1, 08 7:00 PM

Even now Deanna wouldn't really have any regrets about this. She did very little work collected 330,000 a year and 8 million in bonuses. On the liability side of the ledger...she will have 3 years of probation and give back $100,000. What is there to regret here? There is no way she could be sorry about all this. This scam was a falling tree anyway...with or without her. The feds didn't need to give her this deal. Everyone that got robbed would love to change places with her. The feds that allowed this should be locked up with Petters.

dakjr64Nov. 1, 08 7:06 PM

"We thought she was an exec asst or an office manager...". What? Who are these people that think exec asst or office managers have multiple million dollar houses and vacation homes? And the husband is a carpenter...come on attention to who you are friends with.

stickmanNov. 1, 08 7:07 PM

Coleman and her hubby divorced so she could keep her money. Timing is everything. They split just before the big showdown. Can't tell me no one knew. Friends since high school, and Coleman is making enough money to take trips and buy $ million homes in foreign countries, and your friend since high school thought nothing of it, knowing you had a two year college degree. We're not stupid. Her ex knew too and helped spend so much money at casinos that they knew her first name. She hid her take, protected it with divorce, and turned dime on Petters. I'll bet you a $ million of someone elses money that Coleman and her ex are still as close as ever. She didn't just wake up one day after 10 years and decide it was enough. She wanted to drop dime first to get a plea bargain so she can enjoy her carpenter husband's millions (that she gave him). So far, Tom Petters is the only one that maintains his innocence in this whole deal.


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