Minnesota farmer sentenced to prison for USDA agricultural loan fraud | USAO-MN

MINNEAPOLIS – A Slayton, Minnesota man was sentenced to 12 months in prison, three years of supervised release and $435,517.78 in restitution for converting collateral that secured loans from the US Department of Agriculture, announced U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger.

According to court documents, in October 2015, 54-year-old Mark Alan Engelkes pledged 15,641 bushels of soybeans as collateral to the United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) Commodity Credit Corporation (“CCC”) in order to obtain a loan of nearly $80,000. . During the CCC loan application process, Engelkes agreed not to move or assign the collateral until the loan was repaid in full. However, in April 2016, USDA officials learned that Engelkes had withdrawn the pledged grain without prior approval and sold it. In addition to the USDA CCC loan, the defendant also defaulted on other USDA agricultural financing, resulting in a total loss to the government of $435,517.78.

On October 21, 2021, Engelkes pleaded guilty to one count of USDA CCC crop conversion. He was sentenced on April 1, 2022, by Chief U.S. District Judge John R. Tunheim.

This case is the result of an investigation by the US Department of Agriculture-Office of the Inspector General.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lindsey Middlecamp and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Hillary Taylor prosecuted the case.

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