Petters’ sentence by the numbers

In the big scheme of things — no pun intended — Tom Petters got off light. Petters was sentenced today to 50 years in prison for running a Ponzi scheme that bilked investors out of $3.5 billion. Was it a fair sentence? Who’s to say? There is a lot that goes into calculating sentences, including sentencing guidelines and the age of the perpetrator.

But let’s go with the exclusive News Cut Ponzi Ratio, which calculates how much a crook steals for every minute they spend in prison.

Here is a list of some of the big Ponzi scheme convictions in the country in the last two years, the sentence the perpetrator received, and the amount of money stolen for every minute the criminal will spend in prison. In the case of Petters, he’ll spend one minute in prison for every $133.18 he stole.

Strictly on the basis of the extent of the crime vs. the sentence, Kalin Dao, a 33-year-old Vietnamese immigrant in Minnesota, got a stiffer penalty last month for defrauding people out of nearly $7 million to support a gambling habit. She’ll spend a minute in prison for every $1.11 she stole.

Of course, for Petters to get a similar sentence would’ve required one of about 6,000 years.

Perp
Ponzi theft total
Years in prison
Ponzi ratio
Scott Rothstein
$1,200,000,000
Pending
 

Bernie Madoff
$65,000,000,000
150
$824.45
Tom Petters
$3,500,000,000
50
$133.18
Sam Favata
$32,000,000
5
$12.18
John Montana
$33,000,000
6
$10.46
Andres Leonel Pimstein
$50,000,000
17
$5.60
Joseph Forte
$35,000,000
13
$5.12
Wesley Snyder
$29,000,000
12
$4.60
Benny Judah
$50,000,000
25
$3.81
Neulan Midkiff,
$30,000,000
15
$3.81
John Anthony Miller
$21,000,000
13
$3.07
Sean Healey
$16,700,000
15
$2.12
John M. Donnelly
$5,000,000
7.5
$1.27
Kalin Dao
$7,000,000
12
$1.11
James Bunchan
$19,000,000
35
$1.03
Michael Heshelman
$7,000,000
17
$0.78
Steven Tennies
$1,600,000
4
$0.76
Jerry Johnson
$2,700,000
13
$0.40
AVERAGE
$70,039,000,000
409.5
$325.41
  • Steven

    Try again with that average calculation. Hint: Divide the total amount stolen by all the crooks by the total number of crooks. The answer must be smaller than the largest amount stolen.

  • Bob Collins

    The total (not including the gent who hasn’t been sentenced) is $68,839,000,000 or $4,049,352,941

  • http://www.petters-fraud.com Laser Haas

    The math is incongruous due to the fact that numbers reported by the Feds and DK are bogus.

    Petters, by Larry Reynolds testimony, handled more than $12 billion.

    And Larry Reservitz Reynolds was not the only one, there is Greg Bell, SkyBell, Lancelot and Palm Beach all in the Billion dollar range themselves.