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Press Release

Arlington Man Sentenced To More Than Three And One-Half Years For Conspiring To Fabricate False Grain Elevator Scale Tickets, Committing Bankruptcy Fraud, And Interfering With Internal Revenue Laws

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

A north-Iowa man who conspired to fabricate grain elevator tickets, committed bankruptcy fraud, and impeded the Internal Revenue laws was sentenced on July 9, 2013, to more than three and one-half years in federal prison.

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.

Recker was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Chief Judge Linda R. Reade. Recker was sentenced to 46 months’ imprisonment. A special assessment of $300 was imposed, and he was ordered to make $26,267.24 in restitution to the grain company. He must also serve a 3-year term of supervised release after the prison term. There is no parole in the federal system.

Recker was released on the bond previously set and is to surrender to the Bureau of Prisons on a date yet to be set.

This case arose in part from work of the North Iowa Bankruptcy Fraud Task Force, which consists of the United States Attorney’s Office, the Office of the United States Bankruptcy Trustee, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney C.J. Williams and investigated by the Office of the United States Bankruptcy Trustee, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, the United States Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

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

Updated February 19, 2015