Mastermind of Whitefish Bank Swindle Apprehended

By Beacon Staff

SPOKANE, Wash. – A confessed swindler in a Montana bank fraud has been arrested in Colorado after fleeing from a court hearing in Spokane, Wash.

Fifty-six-year-old John Petersen was arrested Sunday at a motel in Boulder, Colo.

Police say they also found a blond wig and several books about changing identity, and they impounded a 2008 black Cadillac DTS, reported stolen in Spokane after Petersen failed to make payments.

Petersen was the mastermind in a fraud scheme from 1990 to 1996 that led to the $11 million collapse of Mountain Bank of Whitefish, Mont.

Petersen bolted from U.S. District Court in Spokane after showing up for a parole violation hearing on Dec. 11. Officials said he apparently saw some legal documents that showed he was going to be arrested.