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Central Illinois Farmer and Former Elevator Manager Indicted

September 29, 2011

Peoria, Ill. – A federal grand jury today charged a Central Illinois farmer, Robert Printz, of Fairbury, Ill., and Timothy Boerma, the former manager of Towanda Grain Company, in an alleged scheme to defraud the elevator, Printz’s creditors, and others. The 27-count indictment alleges that the fraud scheme resulted in alleged losses of more than $14 million by Towanda Grain, CNH Capital, a financial services business based in Wisconsin that provided financing to Printz, and other businesses. The indictment also seeks a personal money judgment against Printz and Boerma for at least $8 million and forfeiture of various properties.

According to the indictment, Printz, 44, did business as Printz Farms and farmed in central Illinois. While Printz owned some of the land, he paid cash rent to farm most of the acreage. Printz also operated two businesses, Printz Trucking and Royal Seed and Equipment. Boerma, 35, of Lincoln, Ill., was employed at Towanda Grain in 2000, and was named manager of the elevator in April 2009. Boerma was discharged from his position on May 10, 2010; the state of Illinois suspended Towanda Grain’s license in May 2010.

Printz is charged with four counts of mail fraud related to his alleged scheme to defraud CNH, which had extended lines of credit to Printz for operating expenses. For 2009, Printz obtained lines of credit from CNH for approximately $4.5 million. The indictment alleges that starting in September 2009, Printz violated terms of his security agreement with CNH when he delivered grain to elevators which were not disclosed to CNH, falsely represented to the elevators that the grain was clear of any liens, obtained advance and settlement checks which were made payable only to Printz, and concealed from CNH that the grain pledged as collateral for the loan had been sold.

The indictment charges Printz and Boerma in five counts of wire fraud that allege that the two men defrauded CNH Capital, Towanda Grain, and others of approximately $14 million from September 2009 to May 2010. According to the indictment, in October 2009, at about the same time that Printz reached the maximum on his 2009 line of credit, he began to deliver grain to Towanda Grain, an elevator he had disclosed to CNH as a possible grain purchaser. However, the indictment alleges that Boerma, the elevator manager, issued grain advance checks payable only to Printz when both knew that the checks were to made jointly payable to Printz and CNH.

From October 2009 to about January 2010, Printz allegedly continued to obtain advances from Boerma, at almost twice the value of the grain Printz delivered. The indictment alleges that from the time Printz applied for his 2010 line of credit, in September 2009, and January 2010, Printz obtained approx $4.9 million from Towanda Grain, all unbeknownst to CNH. To conceal funds from CNH, Printz allegedly misrepresented to his accountants the nature of the transactions and the amount of funds received.

Three counts of bank fraud allege that from March 2010 to May 2010, Printz provided a false financial statement to obtain loans totaling approximately $500,000 from the Bank of Dwight, now the Bank of Pontiac. The financial statement allegedly understated Printz’s liabilities and failed to identify funds received from Towanda Grain.

Printz is also charged with 10 counts of money laundering related to various financial transactions which involved the proceeds of illegal activity and which were designed to conceal or disguise various aspects of the unlawful activity.

The indictment charges Boerma with three counts of wire fraud that allege that Boerma acted contrary to the terms of the loan agreement between Towanda Grain and CoBank, a secured lender of Towanda Grain, in making loans and advances to Printz. To conceal the payments to Printz, Boerma allegedly made false entries in the records of Towanda Grain and provided false statements to CoBank. In addition, Boerma is charged with one count of credit card fraud and one count of making a false statement in January 2011 to special agents with the Internal Revenue Service.

The indictment seeks a personal money judgment of $8 million against Printz and Boerma as well as criminal forfeiture of various properties: 22232 East 2750 North Rd, Lexington, Ill., 20953 E. Road, Anchor, Ill., 207 Walcrest Drive, Fairbury, Ill., 25386 Arrowhead lane, Hudson, Ill., 19990 E 260 North Road, Fairbury, Ill., 162 acres of farmland in Fairbury, Ill., and, one 2010 Lincoln Navigator.

The charges are the result of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations; the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; and the Illinois Department of Agriculture. The case is being prosecuted by Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney Darilynn J. Knauss.

Printz and Boerma will each be issued a summons by the U.S. District Clerk of the Court to appear in federal court in Peoria, Illinois, for arraignment.

Members of the public are reminded that an indictment is merely an accusation; the defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

A complete listing of offenses charged against each defendant and the statutory penalties for each offense, if convicted, follows:

  • Counts 1-4: Robert Printz - mail fraud (four counts); up to 30 years in prison and fines of up to $1,000,000;
  • Counts 5-9: Robert Printz and Timothy Boerma - wire fraud (five counts); up to 30 years in prison and fines of up to $1,000,000;
  • Counts 10-12: Timothy Boerma - wire fraud (three counts); up to 30 years in prison and fines of up to $1,000,000;
  • Counts 13-15: Robert Printz - bank fraud (three counts); up to 30 years in prison and fines of up to $1,000,000;
  • Counts 16-17: Robert Printz - money laundering (two counts); up to 20 years in prison; fines of up to $500,000;
  • Counts 18-25: Robert Printz - money laundering (eight counts) up to 10 years in prison; A $250,000 fine or twice the amount of the laundered funds, whichever is greater;
  • Count 26: Timothy Boerma - access device fraud (one count); up to five years in prison; a fine of up to $250,000; and,
  • Count 27: Timothy Boerma - false statement (one count); up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

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