Farmer sentenced for making a false statement to a financial institution

Farmer sentenced for making a false statement to a financial institution
Stock Photo (Vladek/iStock/Thinkstock)
October 13th, 2021 | U.S. Attorney's Office

                                                                                              

Acting United States Attorney Jan Sharp announced that John M. Vallery, 47, of Plattsmouth, Nebraska, was sentenced today in federal court in Omaha, Nebraska for making a false statement to a financial institution. United States District Judge Brian C. Buescher sentenced Vallery to 7 days’ imprisonment. There is no parole in the federal system. After his release from prison, Vallery will begin a three-year term of supervised release.  Judge Buescher also ordered Vallery to pay restitution in the amount of $142,518.59, which Vallery paid at sentencing.

An investigation conducted by the USDA-OIG determined that on December 17, 2014, in the District of Nebraska, Vallery submitted a Request for Direct Loan Assistance to the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA), for cattle and equipment purchases and 2015 crop and operating expenses.  The request was submitted to the Otoe County, Nebraska FSA office and was signed by an FSA Farm Loan Officer.  Vallery was approved for FSA operating loans, one of which was to be used only for the purchase of cattle. 

Between February 19, 2015 and March 3, 2015, Vallery submitted materially false handwritten invoices to the FSA representing that the cost of cattle purchased with FSA loan proceeds was greater than what was actually paid for the cattle.  The materially false invoices were submitted to the FSA for the purposes of obtaining an overpayment of loan funds, which funds were then used to pay for farming expenses not associated with the purchase of cattle as required by the terms of the loan.

The investigation determined that FSA loaned Vallery a total of $274,380 for the purchase of livestock and equipment and to pay for 2015 crop and operating expenses. Of that loan amount, Vallery misused a total of $142,518.59 obtained through falsified cattle invoices and the unauthorized sale of FSA collateral.

This case was investigated by the United States Department of Agriculture, OIG Investigations.

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