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Press Release

Cordell Veterinarian To Serve Year In Prison And Pay Over $892,000 In Restitution For Making False Statements To Defraud Bank

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Oklahoma

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – Today, DAVID L. STURGEON, 63, from Cordell, Oklahoma, was sentenced by United States District Judge Joe Heaton to serve 12 months and one day in federal prison for making false statements to defraud the Bank of Cordell, announced Sanford C. Coats, United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma. In addition, Judge Heaton ordered that Sturgeon serve five years of supervised release upon his release from prison and pay $892,854.15 in restitution to two bank victims.

Sturgeon is a large animal veterinarian who operates the Washita Veterinarian Clinic and lives in Cordell, Oklahoma. Sturgeon also bought and sold cattle as a manager partner of 20/20 Cattle and Consulting L.L.C and S&D Cattle L.L.C. According to an Information filed on February 21, 2013, from December 2007 through December 2008, Sturgeon secured several loans based on a revolving line of credit extended by Bank of Cordell. Under the loan agreements, loan advances were to be used by Sturgeon for the purchase of cattle which served as collateral for the loan funds advanced. Proceeds from the sale of the cattle were to be used by Sturgeon to pay off the loans owed to Bank of Cordell. During this same time, Sturgeon had two commodities trading accounts with R.J. O’Brien, a commodities firm located in Chicago, Illinois ("RJO"), that he used to make trades in agricultural commodities.

In 2008, RJO required Sturgeon to make certain deposits in his trading accounts to meet margin calls. During the plea hearing today, Surgeon admitted that on August 6, 2008, he represented to the Bank of Cordell that he needed a loan advance of $36,000 to purchase 70 head of cattle for the purpose of influencing the Bank of Cordell to advance him the loan. However, Sturgeon admitted that the loan was not used to purchase cattle and his statements were falsely made so he could fraudulently divert loan funds to make margin calls on the two RJO commodities accounts.

Sturgeon was charged on February 21, 2013. He pled guilty on March 7, 2013. At the sentencing hearing today, Judge Heaton took into account relevant conduct to the offense of conviction and ordered that restitution of $599,364.29 be paid to Bank of Cordell and $293,489.86 to Farm Credit Bank. Sturgeon is to report to the Bureau of Prisons on August 19, 2013, to begin serving his prison sentence.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ross N. Lillard, III, and Robert J. Troester.

Updated December 15, 2014