There was just one problem: By this point, there was hardly any real business to finance. Most of PCI’s deals were actually phantom transactions backed up by phony purchase orders that Deanna Coleman had crafted. Rather than using money from new investors to buy goods that would then be re-sold to big-box retailers, Petters was using it to pay off those investors whose money was coming due or to fund his increasingly posh lifestyle. In other words, PCI was a classic Ponzi scheme.