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Iowa Financial Fraud Scheme Lands Man in Federal Prison for Defrauding Farmers & Banks

On Thursday, February 17, 2011, the U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids, Iowa sentenced a man to over 12 years in prison for defrauding farmers and banks out of their money. Authorities indicated that this fraudulent financing scheme swindled people out of millions of dollars. A total price isn't known, but it is believed that this scheme resulted in $7 million to $20 million in losses.

Leon Walterman, a former Dike farm implement dealer, was sentenced to 12 years and seven months in federal prison for his financing scheme that defrauded banks and farmers. Judge Linda Reade charged Mr. Walterman with mail fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering and unlawfully intercepting communications.

Mr. Walterman, of Walterman Implement, is believed to have double financed farm equipment purchases, submitting bad contracts to lenders.

The 60-year-old criminal was facing 15 years in prison, but because he accepted responsibility for his actions and helped the FBI with their investigation, Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean Berry argued for the minimum federal sentencing of 12 years.

The court ordered a total of $23,000 in restitution be paid immediately. However, Mr. Walterman and two other employees are ordered to pay $10 million in restitution distributed to the following:

  • AgriCredit $588,000
  • First National Bank of Omaha $42,000
  • Wells Fargo Bank $47,000
  • Crawford & Co. insurance $1.356 million
  • Case NH Capital $8 million
  • Farmers involved in the combine trade-in program $322,000

The two other employees involved in this Iowa financial fraud scheme will be sentenced in March.

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