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A Minnesota farmer has been sentenced to a year in prison and ordered to repay more than $400,000 to the government for loan fraud.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for Minnesota announced this week that Mark Engelkes, 54, of Slayton, pledged 15,641 bushels of soybeans as a collateral in order to obtain an $80,000 loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Community Credit Corporation.

As part of that pledge, Engelkes agreed not to move or dispose of the soybeans until the loan had been paid in full, but in April 2016 the USDA learned he had removed the soybeans without approval, and sold it.

The U.S. Attorney's Office said that Engelkes also defaulted on additional farm loans from the USDA, causing a loss of $435,517.78.

Engelkes pleaded guilty in October 2021 of conversion of USDA CCC crops, and was sentenced to 12 months in prison and three years of supervision on Friday.

He will also have to pay the government $435,517.78 in restitution.

The federal government-owned CCC was created in 1933 and is designed to "stabilize, support, and protect farm income and prices."

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