A Vernon County man pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to participating in a scam, involving phantom loads of corn supposedly delivered to a feed mill at Butterfield in Barry County, that defrauded Cargill Inc. of $2 million over a 10-year period.
Bob True Beisly III, 39, of Nevada, waived his right to a grand jury and pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Springfield to single counts of wire fraud and mail fraud.
Court documents state that in 2002, Beisly and others approached Jeffrey Hobbs, a scale and pellet mill operator at Cargill’s feed mill in Butterfield, about a scheme to create scale tickets for fictitious loads of corn delivered to the mill. Hobbs was responsible for weighing each truckload of grain delivered to the mill and printing scale tickets that were sent to Cargill’s headquarters in Minneapolis for payment to the haulers.
Hobbs began creating tickets for Beisly and others on phantom loads for which he received kickbacks of $300 to $500 each, according to court records.
Beisly, who owned and operated K&B Grain, held contracts with Cargill for delivery of grain loads and has admitted receiving numerous fictitious scale tickets from Hobbs for deliveries that were never made to the mill. The U.S. attorney’s office for the Western District of Missouri said in a news release that Beisly has acknowledged receiving such tickets at least once a week, all of which were paid by Cargill.
The scam reportedly went undetected for about 10 years until company officials discovered the fraud in March, and the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the FBI investigated the matter. Cargill’s losses reached $2 million, with about $560,000 having been paid to Beisly, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.
Hobbs, 41, of Exeter, pleaded guilty May 20 to wire fraud and is awaiting sentencing in federal court. He worked at the mill from December 1999 until March of this year. Under terms of his plea agreement, he faces up to 20 years in prison without parole, a fine up to $250,000 and a possible restitution order.
Beisly faces up to 40 years in prison, a fine up to $500,000 and a possible restitution order. His sentencing date will be set when a presentence investigation is completed by the U.S. Probation Office.
BOB TRUE BEISLY III, who pleaded guilty to defrauding Cargill, is the son of Bob True Beisly II, 58, who is charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of his estranged wife, Belinda J. Beisly, 47, in July 2009 at her home in Deerfield.