URBANA — A rural Cisco farmer who pleaded guilty in federal court to bank fraud last week remains free pending his sentencing later this summer.
James R. R. Williams, 63, faces up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine.
According to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Williams admitted to U.S. District Judge Colleen R. Lawless that for the 2016 growing season he obtained a loan of approximately $4.6 million from First Security Bank and Gifford State Bank on behalf of his farming operation, RJW Williams Farms, Inc.
The loans were collateralized by Williams’ assets, including grain. But Williams acknowledged under oath that beginning in October 2016, he defrauded both banks by concealing his grain sales from the banks.
He admitted that he instructed employees of Archer Daniels Midland grain elevators in Niantic and Weldon to issue four checks to his son, which were deposited into an account held jointly by Williams and his son but then used by Williams for his own benefit.
The government alleged that between Oct. 20, 2014, and Feb. 1, 2017, Williams caused ADM to issue approximately 22 checks totaling $540,505.35 in the name of his son for grain that was actually sold by Williams and was collateral for Williams’s outstanding loan.
Lawless set Williams’ sentencing hearing for Sept. 7 in Springfield.