Illinois Grain Elevator Operator Pleads Guilty to Fraud

December 14, 2011

A southern Illinois grain elevator operator has pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges.

The Belleville News-Democrat reports 47-year-old John Kniepmann of Breese in Clinton County pleaded guilty to two counts of mail fraud Monday in U.S. District Court in East St. Louis.

Kniepmann admits he falsely increased an insurance claim by more than $34,000 after a grain elevator fire. He also admits to selling more than $87,000 in grain that was collateral for a loan at the First State Bank of Eldorado.

Kniepmann faces up to 20 years in prison on each count. He also faces up to $250,000 in fines and three years of supervised release. He is to be sentenced March 26.

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