Todd Horob Sentenced in U.S. District Cour
Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Billings, on December 17, 2009, before Chief U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull, TODD HOROB, a 41-year-old resident of Williston, North Dakota, appeared for sentencing. HOROB was sentenced to a term of:
- Prison: 132 months
- Special Assessment: $700
- Restitution: $6,028,731.13
- Supervised Release: 5 years
HOROB was sentenced after having been found guilty during a 3-day trial of bank fraud, wire fraud, bankruptcy fraud, money laundering, and aggravated identity theft.
At trial, the government presented evidence that HOROB defrauded Wells Fargo Bank out of over $5 million, based on a false promises scheme where he claimed to have over 7,000 head of cattle in 2006. In reality, Wells Fargo was only able to find 60 head of cattle.
In furtherance of his false promises scheme, HOROB fabricated brand certificates that supposedly showed that he had millions of dollars in cattle on hand. Local brand inspectors testified that the brand certificates were falsified and they had no records of such large amounts of cattle belonging to HOROB. HOROB also showed bankers cattle that he did not own on land he did not lease - falsely representing that they were his. He also convinced several stock yard owners to lie to bankers by telling them that cattle in the yards were his when in reality they were not.
HOROB also defrauded Dakota West Credit Union out of almost $1 million by obtaining a loan based on a fabricated invoice representing ownership in 1,276 cows that never existed.
Finally, HOROB filed for bankruptcy on March 24, 2006. The day before filing, he transferred just over $235,000 out of his cattle hedging investor accounts and into his American State Bank account. The same day he filed bankruptcy, HOROB wrote cashiers' checks to numerous people, including himself, for over $244,000. HOROB did not disclose his American State Bank account in his bankruptcy petitions, and only added it when Wells Fargo discovered its existence.
Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that HOROB will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, HOROB does have the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for "good behavior." However, this reduction will not exceed 15% of the overall sentence.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan M. Archer prosecuted the case for the United States.
The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service.