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Coggon Farmer Pleads Guilty TO $6 Million Fraud

A hog farmer who defrauded a northeast Iowa bank pled guilty today in federal court in Cedar Rapids.

David LeClere, age 58, from Coggon, Iowa, was convicted of one count of bank fraud.

At the plea hearing and in a written plea agreement, LeClere admitted engaging in a scheme to defraud a northeast Iowa bank from approximately March 2007 through May 2009. LeClere admitted he defrauded the bank by knowingly providing the bank with false information each month, falsely inflating the number and weight of his hogs and falsely inflating his accounts receivable by reporting that packing plants owed him more money than they did. LeClere further admitted defrauding the bank by redepositing on multiple occasions checks he had received as payment from packing plants. The bank lost at least $6.9 million through the fraudulent scheme.

Sentencing before United States District Court Chief Judge Linda R. Reade will be set after a presentence report is prepared. LeClere remains free on bond pending sentencing. LeClere faces a possible maximum sentence of 30 years’ imprisonment, a $12 million fine, $100 in special assessments, and 5 years of supervised release following any imprisonment.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney C.J. Williams and was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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