ST. PAUL (AP) -- A federal judge has sentenced fallen Minnesota tycoon Tom Petters to 50 years in prison for a fraud that prosecutors say cost investors $3.65 billion.
U.S. District Judge Richard Kyle handed down the sentence Thursday, saying he didn't believe Petters was unaware of the fraud. Kyle says Petters was "captain of the ship."
It's been four months since a jury convicted the one-time owner of Polaroid and Sun Country Airlines on 20 counts of wire fraud, mail fraud, money laundering and conspiracy.
Petters spoke in court, apologizing to family, friends and co-workers. He says he's filled with "pain and anguish" for the lives destroyed by the scheme.
Prosecutors say Petters deserved the statutory maximum of 335 years -- effectively life in prison for the 52-year-old. The defense is saddened by the sentence.