Sanpete County Man Charge with Operating a Fraudulent Farm Equipment Business
SALT LAKE CITY – Ryan Palmer, 53, of Sanpete County, was indicted by a grand jury last December in the District of Utah for a fraudulent scheme related to his farm equipment company, known as Palmer Equipment, LLC. In the indictment, Palmer is charged with bank fraud, wire fraud, and two counts of money laundering. The indictment alleges that Palmer defrauded 25 victims out of more than $1.2 million dollars in total.
The indictment alleges that beginning in 2017, Palmer represented to his victims that he could sell or obtain farm equipment on their behalf, and that he entered into consignment contracts with his victims to sell their farm equipment and promised to pay the victims the proceeds from the sale of their equipment. It is alleged that Palmer also told victims that he could sell them functioning farm equipment that was free and clear of any liens. However, the indictment alleges that Palmer sold defective equipment to buyers; removed and replaced serial placards on the equipment; sold victims’ farm equipment which he did not own; did not deliver equipment to buyers; and did not pay, or only partially paid, proceeds to consignors for farm equipment which they had sold through Palmer. In some cases, it is alleged that Palmer encumbered consigners equipment by fraudulently stating the equipment was his own and then sold the same equipment as if it were his own. Additionally, it is alleged that Palmer fraudulently represented to banks that victims’ consigned equipment was his own and then obtained bank issued loans by using the victims’ consigned equipment as collateral.
The first count in the indictment charges Palmer with bank fraud for obtaining a loan from Utah Independent Bank for $51,000 by fraudulently representing that he owned a 1985 Allis-Chalmers 8050 tractor and using the tractor as collateral to obtain the loan. Additionally, it is alleged that Palmer failed to pay the original consignor of the tractor and the bank when the tractor was sold.
The second count alleges that Palmer committed wire fraud by accepting a wire transfer from a buyer of equipment in the amount of $19,450 into Palmer’s personal Mountain America Credit Union Account.
The third and fourth counts in the indictment allege that Palmer committed money laundering by transferring $25,000 obtained through a fraudulently acquired bank loan into a Palmer Equipment Checking Account, and by transferring $16,000 obtained through the sale of a tractor into Palmer’s personal checking account.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys from the Utah U.S. Attorney’s Office from the St. George branch office are prosecting the case. Special Agents from the FBI and IRS Criminal Investigations conducted the investigation.
Indictments are not findings of guilt. Defendants charged in indictments are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty in court.