A Northwest Iowa seed dealer has been sentenced to more than two years in federal prison after pleading guilty to wire fraud and making false statements to a financial institution.
44-year-old Nathan Christie of Larchwood Pleaded guilty to the charges in March of this year and was sentenced Wednesday, Sept. 21.
Federal prosecutors say Christie took money directly from farmers for seed but didn’t forward the money to the owner of the seed. Instead, they say he used the money to pay for gambling losses and other personal expenses. They add Christie was nearly caught when a distributor asked about a bill he had received from a seed company. To pay the bill, Christie acquired a little more than $62,000 by forging his spouse’s signature on an agriculture agreement and another $350,000 by forging his spouse’s signature on a second mortgage on their home. He then stopped using the first distributor’s account and found two new ones.
After Christie pleaded guilty to the charges in March, he was released on his own recognizance without pretrial supervision. A federal judge revoked the provision on July 11 after Christie was arrested in Lyon County on a burglary charge. He was then detained.
In addition to the prison term, Christie must pay more than $461,000 in restitution. He’s in the custody of a U.S. Marshal pending transport to a federal prison.
Courtesy of Media Partners KTIV and KUOO