MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The bankruptcy trustee recovering money for victims of the Ponzi scheme operated by imprisoned businessman and St. Cloud native Tom Petters is suing BMO Harris Bank, accusing it as the owner of M&I Bank of aiding and abetting the fraud.

The lawsuit filed in federal bankruptcy court in Minnesota Wednesday accuses the formerly Milwaukee-based M&I Bank of turning a blind eye to $35 billion that flowed in and out of the main bank account that Petters Company Inc. used to finance the $3.65 billion Ponzi scheme for more than five years.

The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages, calls the account's deposits "astronomical," and says M&I was never given "a valid business reason for such a staggering amount."

A spokeswoman for Chicago-based BMO Harris Bank had no immediate comment.

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