Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Pawlenty's pardon problems piling up

"Pardon me" may be two words the presidential wannabe wishes he never heard.

By Karl Bremer

A criminal sex offender recommended for a “pardon extraordinary” by Gov. Tim Pawlenty in 2008 was arrested again in November on multiple criminal sexual conduct and incest charges. But this isn’t the first time Pawlenty’s pardon subjects have run afoul of the law after getting his blessing.

In 2002, Pawlenty sought a presidential pardon for convicted money-launderer/cocaine-and-gun runner Frank Vennes, Jr. That same year, Vennes and his family donated a total of $10,000 to his gubernatorial campaign, and thousands more in 2004 and 2006.

But then on Sept. 24, 2008, federal agents raided Vennes’ $5 million Shorewood home on Lake Minnetonka and his $6 million oceanfront home in Jupiter, Fla., in connection with the Tom Petters Ponzi scheme investigation. According to the federal search warrant, Vennes was alleged to have hauled in more than $28 million in commissions for his role in luring five investors to pony up $1.2 billion in Petters’ giant Ponzi scheme.

On Oct. 6, 2008, the assets and records of Vennes, Petters, Petters’ companies and other Petters associates were frozen by a federal judge, and many seized assets of Vennes’ already have been sold off to compensate victims of the fraud, even though Vennes has never been charged with a crime in the case. Vennes recently proposed a plan to liquidate most of the rest of his assets in exchange for immunity from further lawsuits in the Petters case.

Pawlenty has never responded to requests for an explanation of his apparently close relationship with Vennes. But when the national media begins to scrutinize the struggling presidential candidate’s past a little closer, the subject of Pawlenty's pardon for Vennes is sure to come up.

The Pawlenty-Vennes web

Pawlenty's connections to convicted felon Frank Vennes, Jr. are intertwined in several ways.

Last year, Pawlenty donated nearly $86,000 from his defunct gubernatorial campaign fund to Minnesota Teen Challenge (MnTC), a controversial Christian chemical dependency program that was once closely affiliated with Vennes and allegedly lost millions on account of that affiliation in the Petters Ponzi. Additionally, Pawlenty’s wife, Mary, served on Minnesota Teen Challenge’s Board of Directors with Vennes.

Vennes and his family have contributed thousands of dollars to Pawlenty's gubernatorial campaigns. Kimberly Vennes (Frank's wife), Gregory Vennes, Stephanie Vennes (Gregory's wife), and Colby and Denley Vennes, who have shared an address with Frank and Kimberly, each donated $2,000 to the Pawlenty for Governor Committee in 2002. Frank, Kimberly, Gregory, Stephanie, Colby and Denley Vennes each contributed $250 to Pawlenty in 2004 and $2,000 apiece in 2006.

Was it a coincidence that the same year the Vennes money started to flow into Pawlenty's campaign coffers, Pawlenty's name appeared in a request for a presidential pardon for Vennes sent by Senator-elect Norm Coleman?

In a letter dated Dec. 20, 2002, and sent to President George W. Bush c/o Karl Rove, then-Senator-Elect Coleman said he was “well acquainted with Frank (redacted portion) and that I want to join “my friend, (former Minnesota GOP chairman) Ron Eibensteiner and Governor-elect Tim Pawlenty in urging President Bush to grant Frank Vennes a presidential pardon.”

The roles of Pawlenty and Eibensteiner in seeking a pardon for Vennes are unclear. A Freedom of Information Act request with the Office of Presidential Pardons did not turn up pardon letters from either one, and Pawlenty's office has refused to respond to requests for an explanation as to why he added his name to Coleman’s list of pardon supporters.

The pardon Coleman, Pawlenty and Eibensteiner sought was for Vennes' conviction in 1987 on federal charges of money laundering, cocaine distribution and illegal firearms sale, to which he pleaded guilty and no contest.

Vennes was sentenced to five years in the Sandstone Federal Correctional Facility, where he reportedly “found God” and was released in 1990. Following his release from prison, Vennes filed a petition for a pardon, which has never been granted.

Meanwhile, Vennes was a board member of MnTC as recently as 2008. Pawlenty's wife, Mary, also sat on MnTC's board of directors during at least a portion of the time that Vennes served on the board.

But that organization may have lost millions of dollars as a result of MnTC's investments that Vennes allegedly steered to his associate, Tom Petters, in Petters’ multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme.

Vennes is alleged to have been a facilitator, or conduit, used by Petters to lure primarily Christian organizations into investing in Petters' companies through Metro Gem - one of Vennes' companies - or through the Fidelis Foundation, which served as a fiscal agent for Minnesota Teen Challenge. Among those investors was Minnesota Teen Challenge, which allegedly lost $5.7 million in investments in Petters companies.

Still, Vennes has not yet been charged with any crimes in connection with the Petters case. Nor has he been named as a defendant in any of the lawsuits filed against Petters and his associates by alleged victims of the fraud.

However, one final question remains: Would a President Tim Pawlenty grant convicted money launderer and alleged Petters Ponzi man Frank Vennes Jr. the pardon he believes he deserves?


  1. Very interesting, great work...I find this way more damaging than the pardoning sex crime guy...in that case Pawlenty can plead ignorance, this case shows corruption to the core

  2. I have a problem with this in that you are comparing Franks past of money laundering with the Petters crime that Frank was a victim of also. Frank invested personally with Petters as did Teen Challenge. If Frank was part of the crime don't you think he would have been charged also. I find this article has convicted him.
    Petters lied and duped many people, how many of the people at Sun Country, Polaroid, and Petters group are giving back there paychecks.
    Frank made his money off of commission as most investment brokers do. If he is guilty let him be charged if not stop crucifying him.

  3. the best casino online For Play Casino Games and Free trial. Via website and mobile Anytime Anywhere.

  4. given article is very helpful and very useful for my admin, and pardon me permission to share articles here hopefully helped :

    Pengobatan alternatif green world
    Solusi cantik alami
    Obat infeksi saluran kencing

  5. Thank you very much for sharing this very useful information, I am very happy to have found this information that I have been looking for
    Obat Batuk Berdarah
    Obat Radang Tenggorokan
    Obat Infeksi Mata
    Cara Mengobati Blefaritis
    Obat Pengapuran Otak

  6. Thank you very much for sharing this very useful information, I am very happy to have found this information that I have been looking for
    Obat Sakit Leher
    Obat Tenggorokan
    Obat Panu Alami
    Obat Kapalan Alami
    Obat Gondongan

  7. Thank you very much for sharing this very useful information, I am very happy to have found this information that I have been looking for
    Cara Menghilangkan Amandel
    Cara Mengobati Kerumut
    Cara Mengobati Bronkitis
    Cara Mengobati Batuk Rejan
    Obat Infeksi Mata
    Cara Menghilangkan Cenang

  8. Thank you very much for sharing this very useful information, I am very happy to have found this information that I have been looking for
    cara mengobati botulisme

  9. Thank you, for getting something new and saluting the originality of this story, hopefully useful, so that life is more useful and useful for others

    Cara Menurunkan Kolesterol Tinggi
    Cara Mengobati Ambeien
    Cara Mengobati Gatal-gatal Pada Kulit
    Obat Amandel Paling Ampuh Dan Manjur

  10. Hi!! My beautiful Friends, My name is Eillen Sharma. I give Newly Teenager Hot and Sexy young ladies for entire Night gathering and sentiment and I likewise give to you Housewife, Modal Stars Girls, College Girls anyplace just on a single click on my link and discover the Lovely Hotness Call Girls on tha entryway step convey with no hazard. On the off chance that you are fascinating for romance with hot young lady you can contact me anyplace.

    ||gurgaon call girls||
    ||Call girls in Bhubaneswer||
    ||Call girls in Cuttack||
    ||Call girls in Puri||

    ||Russian escorts in gurgaon||
    ||Russian escorts in Bhubaneswer||
    ||Russian escorts in Cuttack||
    ||Russian escorts in Puri||

    Thanku for visited I adore you too who cherishes me.

  11. We have the list for best escorts sites for you. If you are alos searching for" escorts near me" to find local escorts then you are at the right Place if you want escorts services Do Follow My link and Number
    Thank you Dear

    Click here |Pahari Escorts|
    Click here |Doha Call Girls|
    Click here |Gurgaon Actress Escorts|

    Click here |College Girls Escorts In Budarpur|
    Click here |Housewife Escorts In Jamalgarh|
    Click here |Call girl In Gurgaon|
    Please Visit Again

  12. Thank for providing good information for site,Thanks for your sharing.
    CASINO iwin89 ONLINE

  13. Thank you very much for sharing this very useful information, I am very happy to have found this information that I have been looking for this long time.


  14. Thank you for update information. i like your blog
    شركة تنظيف شقق بالمدينة المنورة شركة غسيل شقق بالمدينة المنورة
    شركة تنظيف سجاد بالرياض شركة غسيل سجاد بالرياض
    https://www.bfirstseo.com/ https://www.bfirstseo.com/

  15. Our Pay for pre written essays for sale services and legitimate essay writing company makes your college life bearable and fulfilling by enabling you to pass your exams and also in other research and essay writing tasks.


  16. شركة تعقيم الخزانات بالمدينة المنورة
    تعقيم الخزانات امر مهم جدا لذلك نحن شركة شاملة نقوم بتعقيم الخزانات بالمدينة المنورة قبل البدأ فى ملئ الخزانات وذلك حفاظا على سلامة اسرتكم.
    النسر الذهبي لتنظيف الخزانات مع التعقيم
    تنظيف وغسيل الخزانات بالمدينة المنورة
    تتم عملية التنظيف للخزانات بشكل ممتاز
    في جميع انحاء المملكة العربية السعوديةافضل خدمة لتنظيف خزانات المياه

  17. I'm glad to have the opportunity to read your article, it gives me a lot of useful knowledge, I will support you and your next articles. The author of this post is very talented, I greatly admire you, hope you will succeed in the next post.
    cá koi mini, abcya for kids, friv Games for kids 2019, jogos io 2019

  18. We provide clients with Marketing Writing Services irrespective of the discipline and field of study.Order our Business Writing Services that are cheap but doesn’t lack in quality.


  19. If you want a babe from the house of Escorts Service in Vasant Vihar there are a few things you should know well before making a booking. Firstly our agency here at your city. In simple words is a cut above the rest because of the highly professional services we provide to our clients. Check our other Services...
    Escorts Service in Vasant Vihar
    Escorts Service in Vasant Vihar
    Escorts Service in Vasant Vihar
    Escorts Service in Vasant Vihar
    Female Call Girls in Ahmedabad


  20. شركة تنظيف مجاري وكشف تسربات بالدمام و الخبر و القطيف

    شركة منازل الخليج ، تقدم خدمات منزلية متكاملة بالمملكة العربية السعودية بايدي عمالة محترفه ومدربه لانجاز أصعب الاعمال المنزلية مثل ، تنظيف منازل، تنظيف شقق، تنظيف فلل، تنظيف قصور، نقل اثاث، نقل عفش، تخزين اثاث، مكافحة حشرات، رش مبيدات حشرية، عزل خزانات، عزل اسطح، تسليك مجاري، صيانة مكيفات، غسيل مكيفات، تركيب مكيفات، تنظيف مكيفات، صيانة عامة، ترميم وصيانة منازل، تنظيف واجهات، تنظيف خزانات، تنظيف واجهات، كشف تسربات المياه، شركتنا تقدم خدمات منزلية متكاملة في وقت واحد بايدي عمالة محترفة ومدربة بافضل المنظفات والمعقمات وسيارات نقل مجهزة في جميع مناطق المملكة ، لمزيد من الخدمات زورو موقعنا الالكتروني .

    شركة منازل الخليج للخدمات المنزلية بالسعودية

    شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالدمام

    تعتبر شركة كشف تسربات بالدمام هي واحدة من أكبر وأفضل الشركات في كشف تسربات المياه وسواء كانت التسريبات هي من الداخل أو الخارج، والتسربات المائية هي قد تسبب خطر كبيره جدا علي جميع أفراد المنزل، ولذلك نحن نجد الكثير من الأشخاص هم يبحثون كثيرا عن شركة متخصصة في كشف تسربات المياه .

    شركة تسليك مجاري بالدمام

    شركة تسليك مجاري بالدمام تعد شركة تسليك مجاري بالدمام واحدة من الشركات الهامة التي تعمل في مجال تسليك المجاري والتخلص من جميع التراكمات التي تؤدي إلى حدوث انسداد شديد في المواسير الخاصة بالمجاري، وتقوم الشركة بتقديم العديد من الحلول المميزة التي تساعد دائماً في التخلص من انسداد البالوعات التي توجد في جميع الأماكن سواء البيوت أو المصالح الحكومية أو الشركات .

    شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالخبر


  21. شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالخبر شركة منازل الخليج ، تسبب مخاطر كثيرة على المنزل لأنها تؤدي لوجود تشققات وتصدعات بالمباني وتسبب أيضا لوجود مشاكل ومخاطر يواجهها السكان بسبب التسرب، وبسبب التسرب يبحث الكثير من الأشخاص عن شركة تكون خبرة في المجال ولكي تخلصهم من المشاكل التي يواجهونها.
    شركة تسليك مجاري بالخبر

    شركة تسليك مجاري بالخبر شركة منازل الخليج من أكبر وأهم وأفضل الشركات، لأن لديها القدرة علي جميع المشاكل التي يواجها جميع السكان، بسبب انسداد المجاري التي توجد في المنازل أو في الشركات او في المحلات او المطاعم وغيرها من باقي الأماكن .

    شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالقطيف

    شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالقطيف ، التسرب المائي يعد من المشاكل الخطيرة والصعبة والتي يعاني منها السكان لأنها تسبب تشققات وتصدعات بالمباني وقد تؤدي أيضا لانهيار المباني بأكملها، وبالتالي يكون أصحاب المنزل في خطر، ولذلك عزيزي العميل يجب الاستعانة بشركة كشف تسربات المياه بالقطيف شركة منازل الخليج .

    شركة تسليك مجاري بالقطيف

    شركة تسليك مجاري بالقطيف ، مشكلة انسداد المجاري تعتبر مشكلة كبيرة وينتج عن هذه المشكلة حشرات متراكمة وروائح عفنة وكريهة ولذلك يعانون السكان ينزعجون ويريدون حل لكي يتخلص من المشكلة الضارة.

    شركة منازل الخليج للخدمات المنزلية بالسعودية