The U.S. Justice Department's campaign against white-collar crime got a much-needed boost when a jury in St. Paul, Minn., convicted entrepreneur Thomas Petters of running a $3.65 billion fraud. The verdict is significant for prosecutors after the Justice Department failed to convict two former Bear Stearns hedge fund managers last month. Petters took money from investors and said he would use it to buy merchandise from distressed retailers and resell it at a big profit. Instead, he pocketed the money.

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