ADVERTISEMENT

Western Nebraska farmer faces federal charges of bank fraud

October 27, 2021 GMT

SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. (AP) — A western Nebraska rancher and farmer has been indicted on four federal counts of bank fraud after prosecutors say he lied to bank officials about his assets and debt load in an effort to secure more than $11 million in loans.

George Liakos, 62, grows beans, corn and sugar beets and raises cattle near Bayard, the Scottsbluff Star-Herald reported. According to the indictment, Liakos tried to defraud Great Western Bank after entering a loan agreement with the bank in 2017 totaling $11.2 million for farm and ranch equipment and operations.

Prosecutors say that from April 2017 to May 2019, Liakos submitted falsified documents that overstated his commodity inventory and understated or failed to report his other loans and accounts payable.

ADVERTISEMENT

The indictment says Liakos also lied to bank officials about his current commodity and livestock inventory “in an effort to hide his current financial condition to Great Western Bank.”

Each bank fraud charge carries a sentence of up to 30 years in prison, while the false statement count carries up to five years in prison.