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Press Release

Arlington Man Pleads Guilty To Conspiracy To Fabricate False Grain Elevator Scale Tickets, Bankruptcy Fraud, And Interference With Internal Revenue Laws

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa

A North-Iowa man pled guilty yesterday in federal court in Cedar Rapids to two fraudulent schemes, one involving the fabrication of fictitious grain elevator tickets, and another involving lying to the bankruptcy court about proceeds from the sale of a combine. He also admitted impeding the Internal Revenue laws.

Michael Recker, age 47, from Arlington, Iowa, was convicted of one count of conspiring to fabricate false grain elevator scale tickets, one count of bankruptcy fraud, and one count of interfering with Internal Revenue laws.

At the plea hearing and in a written plea agreement, Recker admitted that in 2008 and 2009, he bribed an employee of a Northern Iowa grain elevator to create false and fictitious grain elevator scale tickets. During the conspiracy, the employee fabricated eight false grain elevator tickets, accepting thousands of dollars in bribes from Recker in exchange. The grain elevator paid Recker more than $20,000 based on the false grain elevator tickets. Recker also admitted that he had sold a combine at auction for approximately $50,000.00 prior to filing for bankruptcy protection in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Iowa. In bankruptcy documents, Recker did not disclose the proceeds still owed to him by the auction company and when questioned about the proceeds, Recker lied to the court, claiming he never owned the combine or had an interest in its proceeds. Finally, Recker admitted that he tried to obstruct or impede the administration of the Internal Revenue laws by trying to hide and conceal his taxable income by, among other ways, having the checks from the grain elevator fraud made payable to his then-girlfriend and passing them, and the bribes, through a bank account established in her name.

Sentencing before United States District Court Chief Judge Linda R. Reade will be set after a presentence report is prepared. Recker remains free on bond pending sentencing. Recker faces a possible maximum sentence of thirteen years’ imprisonment, a $750,000 fine, $300 in special assessments, and seven years of supervised release following any imprisonment.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney C.J. Williams and was investigated by the United States Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division.

Court file information is available at The case file number is 12-cr-2027-LRR.

Updated February 19, 2015