Van Buren Co. farmer sentenced to federal prison in fraud case

Southwest Michigan

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A former farm owner has been sentenced to federal prison on charges of bank fraud and federal farm program fraud.

Michael David Stamp, 46, of Decatur was sentenced Tuesday to 96 months in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release. He was also order by a judge to pay more than $17 million in restitution to several agencies — Wells Fargo Bank, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency.

Stamp pleaded guilty to engaging in a scheme to defraud a lender — Wells Fargo Bank — to get a $68 million line of credit for his business. He also pleaded guilty to engaging in a conspiracy to defraud the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation.

Stamp previously operated the largest agriculture production businesses in the state, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Michigan.

The judge said the fraud scheme was “rampant” and a “rip-off of the taxpayers of the United States.”

“Mr. Stamp fraudulently obtained $68 million in bank loans and took advantage of government programs funded by U.S. taxpayers. Today’s sentence should serve as a reminder that defrauding public programs and providing false or misleading documents to financial institutions are serious crimes that undermine our financial system and will not be tolerated,” said Sarah Kull, special agent in charge of IRS Criminal Investigations.

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