Late last year, a Minnesota jury found that BMO Harris Bank, a US-based subsidiary of Bank of Montreal, aided and abetted a Ponzi scheme and awarded $564 million to the victims. Recently, a judge also ordered the bank to pay $500 million in interest, bringing the total penalty to over $1 billion.
Thomas Petters, the scheme's mastermind currently serving a 50-year sentence, transferred billions of dollars through M&I Bank, which BMO Harris acquired in 2011. The bankruptcy trustee responsible for returning funds to Petters' victims, Doug Kelley, alleged that M&I Bank was complicit in the scheme because it failed to report the suspicious activity.
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