An Iowa man who allegedly redirected thousands of dollars from a government loan meant to buy cattle will spend almost a year in prison. He allegedly used the money to gamble at casinos and on other personal expenses.
Briar Robert Detwiler, 26, of Bellevue was sentenced recently to 10 months incarceration. He has to turn himself into authorities on Monday.
Detwiler also must pay the federal government close to $53,000 in restitution, according to the penalty issued by US District Court Judge C. J. Williams. In addition, Detwiler must complete three years of supervised release after getting released from prison. Otherwise, he could be sent back to prison.
Detwiler was sentenced in Cedar Rapids, Iowa federal court earlier this month. Last March, he plead guilty to a single count of conversion of property pledged to a farm credit agency.
The loan program, offered through the US Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency, approved that Detwiler would get $50,000 to purchase 50 calves.
In 2018, he got $9,000 of the funds. But he allegedly spent the money on construction materials for his house. Detwiler then got the remaining $41,000 from the loan program. He spent $32,230 on 35 cattle, officials said.
Used Loan Money at Casinos, Bars
Detwiler allegedly spent the remaining money on “gambling, bars, and food,” according to a statement from Sean R. Berry, Acting US Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa.
Then in October and November of 2018, Detwiler allegedly sold 22 of the cattle for $33,976.
Instead of repayments on the loan, he spent “all of the proceeds he received from the cattle sales in a casino and in bars,” Berry’s statement said.
It was not immediately known which casinos Detwiler visited to gamble.
In an unrelated crime, last year the US Department of Justice charged former New York Jets wide receiver Josh Bellamy with taking part in a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) fraud scheme.
He allegedly spent money meant for struggling businesses at a casino, among other fraudulent uses.
Bellamy allegedly conspired with others to acquire more than $24 million in PPP loans, ultimately receiving approval for at least $17.4 million.
He then spent about $62,774 of that loan at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Fla., officials claim.
Bellamy was charged with wire fraud, bank fraud, and conspiracy to commit both wire fraud and bank fraud. It is unclear what happened to the charges against him.
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