Larchwood Seed Dealer Sent to Federal Prison for Wire Fraud and False Statements
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa
Christie tried to cut out the seed distributor and sell seed directly to farmers.
A seed salesman who cut out the seed distributor, and sold corn and soybean seeds directly to farmers for his own benefit, was sentenced September 20, 2023, to more than 2 years in federal prison.
Nathan Christie, age 44, from Larchwood, received the prison term after a March 24, 2023, guilty plea to one count of Wire Fraud and one count of False Statements to a Financial Institution.
Evidence in the case revealed that Christie, an employee of the seed company, took money directly from farmers for seed, but did not forward that money to the owner of the seed. Instead, he used the money to cover his gambling losses and to pay for other personal expenses leaving the seed bill unpaid. To cover his fraud, Christie manipulated records to make it appear unsuspecting seed distributors had delivered the seed. Christie was nearly caught when one of those distributors asked about a bill he had received from the seed company. Christie however, acquired money to pay the bill. Christie acquired $62,076.23 by forging his spouse’s signature on an Agriculture Security Agreement and another $350,000 by forging his spouse’s signature on a second real estate mortgage on their shared residence. After this near-discovery of his fraud, Christie stopped using the first distributor’s account and found two new victim distributors.
On March 24, 2023, Christie appeared before United States Chief Magistrate Judge Kelly K.E. Mahoney and pled guilty to two counts of a two-count Information filed March 17, 2023. The Court ordered Christie released on a personal recognizance bond without pretrial supervision. On July 11, 2023, the United States filed a Motion for Revocation of Pretrial Supervision alleging Christie had violated the conditions of his unsupervised pretrial release by committing a new law violation in light of his arrest for Burglary, Third Degree - Non-Vehicle, as charged in Lyon County, Iowa, Docket No. FECR007731. On July 18, 2023, the Court found there was probable cause to believe Christie had committed the above alleged new law violation, and the Court revoked Christie’s pretrial release and ordered him detained. The state charge is still pending.
Christie was sentenced in Sioux City by United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand to 30 months’ imprisonment on each count, to be served concurrently. He was ordered to make $202,440.80 in restitution to AgReliant and $258,825.25 to American State Bank, for a total of $461,266.05 in restitution. He must also serve a 3-year term of supervised release after the prison term. There is no parole in the federal system.
Christie is being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until he can be transported to a federal prison.
The case was investigated by the Lyon County, Iowa Sheriff’s Department and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Ron Timmons and Forde Fairchild.
Court file information at https://ecf.iand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl.
The case file number is 23-04005.
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Updated September 22, 2023