Louisiana farmer gets 10 years for phony loan applications; New Yorkers charged with $1.4M bank fraud

A Louisiana farmer who lied to various banks and other agriculture-related credit firms in order to steal more than $18 million through phony loans received a 10-year prison sentence (among other things) by a federal judge earlier this month.

The U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Louisiana also said Thomas A. Dickerson of Delhi, La., was ordered to pay restitution of $18,048,304 to the victims for the money he stole during the course of the scheme. Dickerson pleaded guilty to the charges in July.

According to the law enforcement agency, Dickerson lied on many of the applications he submitted to banks insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) and other agriculture credit organizations in order to “obtain loans and other compensation by overstating or understating the amount of crops produced or claiming crops as collateral when he’d already sold the crops or didn’t possess them.”

In another development, a former New York bank director (and attorney) and another were charged last week with “perpetrating a fraudulent scheme to obtain a $1.4 million loan” from Park Avenue Bank of New York, N.Y. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York said Mendel Zilberberg (the former bank director) of Monsey, N.Y., and Aron Fried of Toms River, N.J., were charged with the fraud.

According to the U.S. Attorney, each is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, one count of bank fraud, and one count of making false statements to a bank, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison; as well as one count of conspiracy to make false statements to a bank, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

Zilberberg was also charged with embezzlement and misappropriation of bank funds while he was a director and insider of the bank. The charge carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.

Delhi Farmer Sentenced for Lying to Various Business and Government Entities to Steal Nearly $18 Million

Former Park Avenue Bank Director Mendel Zilberberg And Co-Conspirator Charged In $1.4 Million Bank Fraud

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