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Ponzi suspect launches defence

TOM PETTERS, the businessman from Minnesota that was accused of one of the biggest ever Ponzi schemes prior to Bernie Madoff will launch his defence at a fraud trial this week.<br /><br />Petters, a 52-year-old ex-appliance wholesaler, who had been celebrated for his rags-to-riches life story, will go on trial having been arrested last October.<br /><br />He was indicted on 1 December on 20 separate criminal accounts, and is accused of orchestrating a $3.5bn fraud. He could face life in prison. <br /><br />Petters says the fraud was carried out by others without his knowledge.