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Iowa man who spent cattle loan funds on gambling and booze sentenced to federal prison

CEDAR RAPIDS – A man who spent federal loan money intended for the purchase of cattle on his personal expenses, including gambling and alcohol, was sentenced on October 4, 2021, to ten months in federal prison.

Briar Robert Detwiler, age 26, from Bellevue, Iowa, received the prison term after a March 23, 2021 guilty plea to one count of conversion of property pledged to a farm credit agency.

Information from a plea agreement and at sentencing showed that the United States Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency approved Detwiler’s loan request for $50,000 to purchase fifty beef calves in December 2017. Detwiler then requested a disbursement of $9,000 of the funds, falsely stating that the money was for the purchase of cattle. Detwiler immediately spent the $9,000 on construction materials for his personal residence. Detwiler then asked for the remaining $41,000 of loan funds. Of these funds, Detwiler spent $32,230.08 on 35 head of cattle. Detwiler spent the remaining funds on gambling, bars, and food. In October and November 2018, Detwiler sold 22 head of the cattle for $33,976.41. As Detwiler later admitted, instead making any repayment towards the loan, Detwiler spent all of the proceeds he received from the cattle sales in a casino and in bars.

Detwiler was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams. Detwiler was sentenced to 10 months’ imprisonment. He was ordered to make $52,684.38 in restitution to the Farm Service Agency. He must also serve a three-year term of supervised release after the prison term. There is no parole in the federal system.

Detwiler was released on the bond previously set and is to surrender to the United States Marshal on October 18, 2021.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kyndra Lundquist and investigated by the United States Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General.

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