Aberdeen Man Sentenced In Bribery Case
First Assistant United States Attorney Randy Seiler announced that an Aberdeen, South Dakota, man convicted of promising an illegal gratuity to a witness was sentenced on September 22, 2014, by U.S. District Judge Charles B. Kornmann.
Nickolas J. Berbos, age 53, was sentenced to 5 years of probation, and ordered to pay a $250,000 fine and a $100 assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. Prior to sentencing, Berbos had served almost three months in custody for violating his bond.
Berbos was originally indicted by a federal grand jury on August 21, 2013, for three counts of False Crop Insurance Claim. He pled guilty to a Superseding Information on June 9, 2014, charging him with Illegal Gratuity to a Witness.
In November 2013, Berbos initiated a conversation with Todd Daniels, one of his employees. During that conversation, Berbos promised to give Daniels additional employment benefits if Daniels would tell investigators and testify in court that Daniels did not run the air seeder on Berbos’ farm during the time period covering some of Berbos’ disputed crop applications. The issue of who was running the air seeder and the accuracy of the air seeder’s numbers was a material issue to the prosecution of the underlying case against Berbos.
This case was investigated by United States Department of Agriculture - Office of Investigations. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Thomas J. Wright and Ann M. Hoffman prosecuted the case.