News and Press Releases

Iowa Pair Charged with Conspiracy to Defraud the Government Sentenced

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 12, 2012
Contact: Mark E. Salter
Assistant United States Attorney
605-357-2360

US Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that Reena Slominski, age 59, and Howard "Jack" Aleff, age 62, both of Knoxville, Iowa, charged with Conspiracy to Defraud the Government with Respect to Claims were sentenced on September 10, 2012, by U.S. District Judge Charles B. Kornmann. Slominski was sentenced to 5 years' probation and ordered to pay a fine in the amount of $20,000. Aleff was also sentenced to 5 years' probation and ordered to pay a $40,000 fine. Both were ordered to pay $303,890 in joint and several restitution, much of which has already been paid.

The Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 provides marketing assistance, loans, and loan deficiency payments for wool and mohair to eligible producers who produce and shear wool and mohair from live sheep and goats. The Loan Deficiency Payment Program helps stabilize America's wool and mohair industry and insures the well-being of agriculture in the United States. Payments are made to producers who were eligible to receive a loan from the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) but agreed to forego the loan in return for a payment on the eligible wool, mohair, or unshorn pelt.

Between April 2004 and August 2010, Howard “Jack” Aleff and Reena L. Slominski conspired with each other to defraud the Commodity Credit Corporation by producing and submitting false applications for loan deficiency payments. Slominski and Aleff prepared and submitted 132 false applications for loan deficiency payments for sheep that were never sheared. The total amount received as a result of the false applications was $303,890.

The investigation was conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture - Office of Investigations. The case was prosecuted by Assistant US Attorney Thomas J. Wright.

 

 

 

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