Politics

Documents: Sen. Klobuchar took Ponzi schemer’s campaign contributions, didn’t prosecute

Photo of Matthew Boyle
Matthew Boyle
Investigative Reporter

Documents obtained by The Daily Caller show that U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar helped keep a multibillion-dollar Ponzi schemer out of prison in the late 1990s when she was the County Attorney in Hennepin County, Minnesota.

That financial criminal, Tom Petters, presided over companies whose employees gave Klobuchar $8,500 for her re-election campaign, and would later contribute more than $120,000 toward her U.S. Senate run.

One of those companies’ vice presidents was Ted Mondale, a former state senator and son of former U.S. Vice President Walter Mondale. Before taking office as Hennepin County Attorney, Klobuchar was a partner at the Minneapolis law firm of Dorsey & Whitney, where Walter Mondale has practiced law since 1987.

Perhaps because of the lure of Petters’ campaign cash or his deep connection to Minnesota Democratic politics, Klobuchar used the power of her office in 1999 to ensure Petters was not charged with financial crimes. And despite significant evidence against him, she cleared the way for Petters to build his multibillion-dollar illegal empire by prosecuting only his early co-conspirators.

One of those co-conspirators, Richard Hettler, told The Daily Caller that Klobuchar was aware of what Petters was doing, yet willingly accepted campaign donations from Petters’ company and its employees.

“She took Ponzi money to get elected,” he insisted.

Years later, after Klobuchar won a seat in the U.S. Senate and left Minnesota, a federal prosecutor would win convictions against Petters for 10 counts of wire fraud, three counts of mail fraud, five counts of money laundering, and one count each of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

See the Klobuchar-Petters Documents