Man sentenced for fraud involving federal crop loan

MADISON — John W. Vaudreuil, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Kelly Wachter, 34, formerly of Bloomington, Wis., was sentenced January 6th by U. S. District Judge James D. Peterson to three years of probation and ordered to pay $85,424.51 in restitution for fraudulent conversion and sale of crops owned by the U. S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency (USDA FSA). Wachter pleased guilty to this charge on October 3, 2016.

During he plea hearing in October, Wachter admitted that in May 2014, he obtained a $210,000 loan from the USDA FSA for the purpose of planting corn and soybeans on farmland he rented in Bloomington. The crops were considered collateral for the loan, and the proceeds from the sale of the crops were to be used first to pay the FSA loan.

When FSA had not received any proceeds from crops sold by the following year, they began an investigation which revealed that Wachter had used some of the original loan money for personal expenses and belongings. The investigation further revealed that the crops had been harvested in late 2014, and that Wachter sold the crops and used the proceeds for his personal benefit without the knowledge or permission of the FSA. Among the personal expenses Wachter paid with the loan and proceeds were $15,000 for a truck; $30,000 for a car; $11,000 for a student loan; $36,000 for a boat; and a vacation to Mexico.

The charges against Kelly Wachter were the results of an investigation conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General. The prosecution of the case has been handled by Assistant U. S. Attorney Robert A. Anderson.