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Press Release

Huron Man Sentenced in Bank Fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Dakota

United States Attorney Randolph J. Seiler announced that a Huron, South Dakota, man convicted of bank fraud was sentenced on January 8, 2016 by U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier.

Kent Lee Bales, age 60, was sentenced to 5 years of probation and ordered to complete 100 hours of community service before the end of his term of probation.  He was also ordered to pay $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.

Bales was indicted for Bank Fraud by a federal grand jury on December 2, 2014.  He pled guilty to the offense on September 28, 2015.

Bales operated two companies with his brother:  Stockman’s Auction Company Inc., and Bales Continental Commission Company in Huron.  The companies are related entities and are in the business of selling cattle.  Bales engaged in a check kiting scheme, whereby he wrote checks and transferred funds among the companies’ accounts at three different banks when he knew that the checks and transfers were not actually supported by sufficient funds.  In doing so, he artificially inflated the balances in his accounts and used some of those funds for business purposes.  Bales defrauded one of the banks out of approximately $1,820,948.46. 

This case was investigated by Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Ann M. Hoffman prosecuted the case.

Updated January 14, 2016