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Press Release

Central Illinois Farmer, Former Elevator Manager Sentenced To Prison For Fraud Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Central District of Illinois

Peoria, Ill. – A central Illinois farmer, Robert James Printz, 46, of Fairbury, Ill., and Timothy Boerma, 37, a former manager of Towanda Grain Company, were sentenced today for their respective roles in a scheme to defraud the elevator, Printz’s creditors, and others. Chief U.S. District Judge James E. Shadid ordered that Printz serve 121 months (10 years, 1 month) in federal prison and pay restitution in the amount of $7,038,537; Boerma was sentenced to 72 months (6 years) in federal prison and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $6,730,594.  Both men were given Apr. 15, 2014, to report to the federal Bureau of Prisons to begin serving their prison sentence. Following completion of their prison terms, both defendants were ordered to remain on supervised release for five years. 

According to court documents, Printz farmed in central Illinois as Printz Farms. Boerma, of Lincoln, Ill., was employed at Towanda Grain and became manager of the elevator in April 2009. The Towanda Grain board of directors discharged Boerma from his position on May 10, 2010, the same date that the Illinois Department of Agriculture suspended Towanda Grain’s license. The Department of Agriculture later helped facilitate the sale of Towanda Grain to Evergreen FS.

On May 30, 2013, Printz and Boerma entered pleas of guilty for their respective roles in the fraud scheme. Printz pled guilty to one count each of wire fraud and money laundering related to his scheme to defraud CNH, which had extended lines of credit to Printz for operating expenses. Boerma pled guilty to one count of wire fraud. 

Under terms of the plea agreement, Printz agreed to forfeit to the government a 2010 Lincoln Navigator, diamond jewelry, two Rolex watches, and a 5th wheel camper. The government dismissed forfeiture allegations regarding real estate known as: 22232 East 2750 North Rd, Lexington, Ill., 20952 E. Road, Anchor, Ill., 207 Walcrest Drive, Fairbury, Ill., 25386 Arrowhead Lane, Hudson, Ill., 19990 E 260 North Road, Fairbury, Ill., and, 162 acres of farmland in Fairbury, Ill. 

Printz and Boerma pled guilty to their participation in a fraud scheme that defrauded CNH Capital, which provided Printz with a line of credit for his farming operation; Towanda Grain, and others from September 2009 to May 2010. 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 as a possible grain purchaser under his security agreement with CNH. Boerma, the Towanda Grain manager, handled the transactions with Printz, and issued grain advance checks payable only to Printz, in violation of the CNH security agreement. 

From October 2009 to about January 2010, Printz admitted that he continued to obtain advances from Boerma, at more than twice the value of the grain Printz delivered. From October 2009 to April 2010, Printz received a total of approximately $13.1 million from Towanda Grain. Printz subsequently made repayments to Towanda Grain of approximately $6.1 million. To conceal funds from CNH, Printz misrepresented to his accountants the nature of the transactions and the amount of funds received.

Boerma admitted that he 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 made false entries in the records of Towanda Grain and provided false statements to CoBank.

The charges resulted from an investigation by Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations; the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; and the Illinois Department of Agriculture.  The case was prosecuted by Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney Darilynn J. Knauss and Assistant U.S. Attorney Bradley W. Murphy.

Updated June 22, 2015