News and Press Releases

Menomonie Man Sentenced for Farm Loan Fraud

December 7, 2011

Madison, Wis. - John W. Vaudreuil, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Anthony Benish, 39, Menomonie, Wis., was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Barbara B. Crabb to six months in prison, without the possibility of parole, for converting property pledged for a Farm Service Agency loan. Bennett pleaded guilty to this charge on September 28, 2011.

In 2008, Anthony Benish was granted a $200,000 loan guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency (FSA). The evidence in this case has established that though he pledged farm equipment to secure the loan, he failed to pay back the loan and sold the farm equipment to others.

Benish’s activity was discovered when the FSA foreclosed on the loan and sought to sell the collateralized equipment. The Court ordered Benish to pay $132,749.67 in restitution to the FSA for their losses due to the loan.

The charges against Benish were the result of an investigation conducted by the Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Department of Agriculture. The prosecution of the case has been handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter M. Jarosz.


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