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Associated Press , Published November 14 2012

Petters bankruptcy case trustee sues BMO Harris

MINNEAPOLIS — The bankruptcy trustee recovering money for victims of the Ponzi scheme operated by imprisoned Minnesota businessman Tom Petters is suing BMO Harris Bank, accusing it as the owner of M&I Bank of aiding and abetting the fraud.

The lawsuit filed in federal bankruptcy court in Minnesota Wednesday accuses the formerly Milwaukee-based M&I Bank of turning a blind eye to $35 billion that flowed in and out of the main bank account that Petters Company Inc. used to finance the $3.65 billion Ponzi scheme for more than five years.

The Star Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/SoJKST ) the lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages, calls the account's deposits "astronomical," and says M&I was never given "a valid business reason for such a staggering amount."

A spokeswoman for Chicago-based BMO Harris Bank had no immediate comment.

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Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com


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