Breese Man Pleads Guilty to Mail Fraud
Stephen R. Wigginton, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today that on December 12, 2011, John Kniepmann, 47, of Breese, IL, pled guilty to two counts of Mail Fraud, as charged in an Information filed in United States District Court in East St. Louis. Each offense carries a statutory maximum possible punishment of up to twenty years’ imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000, a period of supervised release of up to three years, and a $100.00 Special Assessment. Sentencing is scheduled for March 26, 2012, at 8:00 a.m.
During his plea, Kniepmann admitted to causing the use of the United States Mail to defraud an insurance company and a financial institution. In pleading to count one, he admitted that in December, 2006, he falsely increased by $34,400.00 an insurance claim regarding a fire at his business, Consolidated Exchange, which is located in Clinton County, Illinois. Kniepmann also admitted to using the mail in April, 2006, when he defrauded a financial institution by selling $87,161.76 worth of grain that was collateral for a loan taken out by his businesses, Consolidated Exchange Inc. and the Grain Exchange, LLC, and then hiding the sale from the financial institution that was holding the loan.
The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Illinois Department of Agriculture. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ranley Killian.