Mark A. Nickelson, 53, Waynoka, Oklahoma, a former employee of the Alva State Bank & Trust Company, has pled guilty to making a false statement to a bank. As part of his plea, Nickelson admitted that in November of 2004 he drove Alva State Bank officials to various locations to conduct a “cattle count” to verify the number of cattle he purportedly owned in an effort to influence their decision to retain his employment and renew outstanding loans made to him. Nickelson admitted that he intentionally failed to disclose that he did not own all of the cattle counted.
At sentencing, Nickelson faces up to 30 years in federal prison plus a $1,000,000 fine. A sentencing hearing will be set by the Court in approximately 90 days.
John C. Richter, United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma, made the annoucement. This case is a result of an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jeb Boatman.