LEXINGTON, KY – A Danville, KY, man, Peter Alex Cox, 33, entered a guilty plea on Monday, before Chief U.S. District Judge Danny Reeves, to unlawful conversion of loan collateral.
According to his plea agreement, starting in 2013, Cox obtained a line of credit from Central Bank Agricultural Credit Association, secured by the Farm Service Agency, part of the United States Department of Agriculture. Between 2013 and 2018, Cox applied to increase his line of credit, until it reached $1,057,140.35 in 2018. Cox pledged 800 beef and dairy cattle that he owned, as collateral to secure the loan.
Cox admitted in the plea agreement that, between May and October 2019, he sold his cattle to unapproved sellers, using a fictitious farm name, and did not apply the proceeds from the cattle sold to his debt. He further admitted that his intention in using the fictious farm name was to prevent Ag Credit from receiving any of sales or profits of the sales. Cox’s cattle sales totaled $1,106,701.17, without any payments made toward his loan and without providing any notice of the sales.
Carlton S. Shier, IV, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, and Salina Walker, Acting Special Agent in Charge, United States Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General, jointly announced the guilty plea.
The investigation was conducted by USDA. The United States was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kate K. Smith.
Cox is scheduled to be sentenced on July 14, 2023. He faces a maximum of five years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000. However, any sentence will be imposed by the Court, after its consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal sentencing statutes.
— END —