David L. Sturgeon, 63, Cordell, Oklahoma, has pled guilty to making false statements to defraud the Bank of Cordell.
Sturgeon is a large animal veterinarian who operates the Washita Veterinarian Clinic and lives in Cordell, Oklahoma. Sturgeon also bought and sold cattle as a manager partner of 20/20 Cattle and Consulting L.L.C and S&D Cattle L.L.C. According to an Information filed on February 21, 2013, from December 2007 through December 2008, Sturgeon secured several loans based on a revolving line of credit extended by Bank of Cordell.
Under the loan agreements, loan advances were to be used by Sturgeon for the purchase of cattle which served as collateral for the loan funds advanced. Proceeds from the sale of the cattle were to be used by Sturgeon to pay off the loans owed to Bank of Cordell. During this same time, Sturgeon had two commodities trading accounts with R.J. O’Brien, a commodities firm located in Chicago, Illinois (“RJO”), that he used to make trades in agricultural commodities.
In 2008, RJO required Sturgeon to make certain deposits in his trading accounts to meet margin calls. During the plea hearing, Surgeon admitted that on August 6, 2008, he represented to the Bank of Cordell that he needed a loan advance of $36,000 to purchase 70 head of cattle for the purpose of influencing the Bank of Cordell to advance him the loan. However, Sturgeon admitted that the loan was not used to purchase cattle and his statements were falsely made so he could fraudulently divert loan funds to make margin calls on the two RJO commodities accounts.
At sentencing, Sturgeon faces up to 30 years in prison, a fine of up to $1,000,000, and mandatory restitution. A sentencing date will be set by the Court in approximately 90 days.
Sanford C. Coats, United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma, announced the guilty plea.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ross N. Lillard, III, and Robert J. Troester.