CEDAR RAPIDS – An Iowa farmer who pledged assets as collateral for a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) farm operating loan but later sold the assets and subsequently defaulted on the loans was sentenced today to six months’ in federal prison.
Leroy Jones, age 59, from Floyd, Iowa, received the sentence after a guilty plea to one count of conversion of property pledged to a farm credit agency.
At the guilty plea, Jones admitted that he pledged over 100,000 bushels of corn worth more than $300,000 to the USDA as security on two Farm Services Agency loans worth nearly $200,000. Jones further admitted that over the course of the next year he sold all of the grain he had pledged without notifying the USDA and that he did so with intent to defraud that agency. Court records show that Jones had actually sold over 10,000 bushels of corn before he had even pledged that corn as collateral.
Jones was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge Leonard T. Strand. He was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment. A special assessment of $100 was imposed and he was ordered to make $137,682.20 in restitution to the Farm Service Agency. Jones must also serve a two-year term of supervised release after his prison term. Because Jones was convicted of a felony, he can no longer legally possess firearms or ammunition.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Anthony Morfitt and was investigated by the United States Department of Agriculture.