Judge sentences Louisiana farmer 10 years for stealing over $18M, lied to several banks and businesses

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MONROE, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – A Franklin Parish man has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison and three years of parole for lying to more than seven banks, insurance providers and government entities in an effort to obtain over $18 million illegally.

According to the U.S. District Attorney’s Office, Thomas A. Dickerson pled guilty in July and U.S. District Judge Terry A. Doughty gave Dickerson the sentencing on Thursday. He also ordered Dickerson to pay $18, 048, 304. 91 in restitution to the victims for the money he allegedly stole during the course of the scheme.

In a released statement by the DA’s office, Dickerson used at least 13 farming entities he was either a part of or was the sole owner of to certify farming acreage in Catahoula, Franklin, Tensas, Richland, Madison and Morehouse parishes in Louisiana, as well as Ashley, Chicot and Drew Counties in Arkansas.

The Delhi farmer applied for crop production and grain storage loans from AG Resource Management, farm operating loans from various FDIC insured banking entities, credit from seed and chemical dealers such as Greenpoint AG, LLC and Jimmy Sanders Seed, advances on contracts with Kennedy Rice Dryers, insurance policies and claims from Producers Agriculture Insurance Company and CGB Insurance Company, and several marketing assistance loans from the Commodity Credit Corporation.

Dickerson allegedly lied on many of these applications in order to obtain loans and other compensation by overstating or understating the number of crops produced or claiming crops as collateral when he’d already sold the crops or didn’t possess them.

“The sentence imposed today should serve as a warning to those who engage in fraudulent practices and schemes,” U.S. Attorney David C. Joseph said.

“Mr. Dickerson’s conduct in this case caused significant financial loss to victims throughout northeast Louisiana. This type of behavior will not be tolerated in the Western District of Louisiana.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General, investigated the case. U.S. Attorney David C. Joseph and Assistant U.S. Attorney Tiffany E. Fields prosecuted the case.

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