Tom Petters, a Minnesota businessman, was sentenced to 50 years in prison over four years ago. However, legal and accounting fees associated with his bankruptcy case continue to grow. In June 2014, a federal bankruptcy judge approved a settlement allocating $3.5 million in legal and accounting fees to the many firms involved in the litigation related to his bankruptcy case and clawback scheme.
Although this sum may seem very large, it makes up only a small percentage of the $83 million already spent on these fees. Doug Kelley, “the receiver in Petters’ bankruptcy case who is attempting to recover money for victims of the fraud scheme,” has already recovered $400 million for the victims. Meaning, for every $5 recovered for victims of Mr. Petters’ fraud scheme, $1 has been spent on legal and accounting fees.
Despite the enormous amount already spent on fees, it appears that they will continue to grow. Mr. Kelly has recently made efforts to include claims of international victims of the clawback scheme by retaining international attorneys that charge between $450 and $600 an hour and filing applications with stipulations for legal fees of international law firms.