The owner of a tractor company in South Georgia has pleaded guilty to lying about his debts, assets and income to obtain loans from banks and financial institutions.
Nashville Tractor owner Rickey Carter, 60, pleaded guilty on Tuesday in federal court in Macon to one count of bank fraud.
Carter agreed to plead guilty to a criminal charge without being charged. The prosecution says Carter took out a $ 5 million loan from the Farmers and Merchants Bank in Lakeland in 2016, backed by the US Small Business Administration. He also accepted a line of credit of $ 625,000. Carter admitted to falsifying financial statements in order to obtain the loan for his financially troubled tractor dealership,
He also admitted to selling 88 pieces of equipment worth over $ 1.5 million that Nashville Tractor held in trust for CNH Industrial, the tractor maker New Holland; and other equipment he held in trust for Kubota, without notifying the manufacturers. Carter then used the money to pay off the Nashville Tractor debts. Carter also forged sales and rental contracts for 33 pieces of New Holland equipment, improperly receiving $ 1.25 million, then improperly selling the equipment to others without notifying CNH.
In total, three banks, the SBA and manufacturers’ finance divisions lost $ 6.4 million to Carter due to the fraud. Carter is supposed to reimburse this amount as restitution.
U.S. District Judge Hugh Lawson has set the sentence for September 15. The crime carries a maximum of 30 years in prison, but Carter is likely to be sentenced to much less under federal sentencing guidelines. He could also face a $ 1 million fine and up to five years on probation.