Office of the United States Attorney, Ann Birmingham Scheel
District of Arizona
April 18, 2012
PINAL COUNTY FARMER AND HIS WIFE SENTENCED FOR STEALING $85,000 FROM THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
PHOENIX – On April 16, 2012, Carlos Carley Carranza, Jr., 52, of Casa Grande, Ariz., and his wife, Laura Brooke Murrill, 31, of Gilbert, Ariz., were sentenced by U.S. District Judge Susan R. Bolton for Theft of Government Property. Carranza was sentenced to 21 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. Murrill was sentenced to three years of supervised probation. Both had previously pleaded guilty to the offense.
According to the plea agreements, on or about Feb. 19, 2010, Carranza applied to the United States Department of Agriculture, Farm Services Agency, for a farm operating loan. The loan was approved in the amount of $300,000, the proceeds of which were to be used solely for farm operating expenses. The first loan installment in the amount of $120,000 was deposited into Carranza’s bank account on April 2, 2010. Within a week, Carranza and his wife spent $85,000 of the $120,000 on personal items, including a $25,000 BMW. Carranza also gave $20,000 to a friend and spent approximately $5,000 at strip clubs during that one week period.
The investigation in this case was conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General. The prosecution is being handled by Jennifer Levinson, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Phoenix.
CASE NUMBER: CR 11-01340-PHX-SRB
RELEASE NUMBER: 2012-099(Carranza_etal)
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For more information on the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/az/