Businessman Tom Petters was arrested in Minnesota on Friday as part of a federal fraud investigation. He is the head of an investment group that owns Sun Country Airlines, along with stakes in several other businesses. He was charged with wire and mail fraud, money laundering and obstruction of justice. Investigators allege that he masterminded a plan to bilk other investors out of at least one billion dollars.
A federal judge in Minneapolis order Petters to be held without bail after a taped phone conversation revealed that the disgraced entrepreneur planned to leave the country. A hearing is scheduled for Tuesday. Petters has stated that he plans to fight to be released from custody and maintains his innocence.
What does this mean for Sun Country? The struggling budget carrier has always operated on a shoestring. Petters has agreed to step down from his decision-making position so that the airline will not be harmed by the scandal. However, the scandal comes on the heels of the announcement that Sun Country is struggling and will be “temporarily” cutting staff’s salaries by 50%.