Howe Man Sentenced To 36 Months Probation, $150,000 Restitution For Conversion Of Mortgaged Property
MUSKOGEE, OKLAHOMA – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma announced that Ronald Justin Johnson, age 38, of Howe, Oklahoma was sentenced to 3 years of probation and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $150,117.68 for Conversion Of Mortgaged Property, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 658. The charges arose from an investigation by the United States Department of Agriculture – Office of Inspector General (“OIG”).
The Indictment alleged that from April 1, 2016 through July 14, 2016, the defendant knowingly and with intent to defraud, willfully disposed of and converted to his own use certain property, to-wit: thirty-two (32) head of cattle, said property having a value in excess of $1,000.00, and which was at the time of said disposition and conversion, mortgaged, pledged to and held by the United States Department of Agriculture – Farm Service Agency.
United States Attorney Brian J. Kuester said, “People who receive the benefits of federal loan programs through the Farm Service Agency do so with the knowledge and understanding that they have certain obligations that must be fulfilled as part of the loan agreement. Failure to fulfill those obligations jeopardizes programs intended to assist those in need of funding to support agricultural businesses. I commend the Department of Agriculture OIG for its diligence in identifying and investigating these crimes in Eastern Oklahoma.”
The Honorable Ronald A. White, U.S. District Judge in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, in Muskogee, presided over the hearing. Assistant United States Attorney Ben Gifford represented the United States.