Two Vernon County men were sentenced to federal prison this week for their roles in a $2 million grain mill fraud.
U.S. District Judge Gary Fenner assessed Bob True Beisly III, 40, of Nevada, and Ronald Bunn, 45, of Deerfield, prison terms without parole at separate sentencing hearings Thursday in federal court in Springfield.
Beisly received two years and 11 months in prison and was ordered to pay $559,616 in restitution to Cargill Inc., the owner of a feed mill in Butterfield. Beisly pleaded guilty in federal court Aug. 6 of last year to single counts of wire fraud and mail fraud. The judge ordered the terms to run consecutively to sentences received on pending criminal charges the defendant is facing in a state court.
Fenner assessed Bunn two years and three months without parole and ordered him to pay $754,564 in restitution to Cargill. Bunn had pleaded guilty Nov. 12 to two counts of mail fraud.
A third defendant involved in the case, Jeffrey Hobbs, 41, of Exeter, pleaded guilty to a single count of wire fraud last year and was sentenced to two years and eight months without parole. He must pay $2,334,180 in restitution to Cargill.
Hobbs was the scale operator and pellet mill operator of the company’s feed mill in Butterfield from December 1999 through March 2013. He would weigh truckloads delivered to the mill and issue scale tickets to the suppliers making the deliveries. The tickets could then be presented to Cargill’s headquarters in Minnesota for payment.
Beisly and Bunn approached Hobbs in 2002 with a scheme to create scale tickets for fictitious loads of grain delivered by Beisly’s company, K&B Grain, and Bunn’s company, RB Grain. Hobbs initially received $300 as a kickback for each “ghost” load. The kickback later was bumped up to $500.
The fraud is believed to have been perpetrated over a span of almost 10 years and cost Cargill a loss of more than $2 million before the company finally caught on a year ago, and the Missouri State Highway Patrol and FBI were notified.
Bob True Beisly III is the son of Bob True Beisly II, 59, 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 near Deerfield.