2 western Ky. men plead guilty to stealing more than $350K from grain elevator company
LYON COUNTY, Ky. (KFVS) - Two western Kentucky men pleaded guilty to stealing more than $350,000 from a Lyon County grain elevator company.
Gerald Kent Kingston, 61, of Elkton, and Bobby Joe Merrick, 72, of Princeton, both pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and five counts of wire fraud on Wednesday, May 12.
According to a release from the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky, as part of the plea agreement, they will be required to pay $354,870.11 in restitution to Gavilon Grain.
Both are scheduled to be sentenced on August 24.
According to court documents, Kingston was formerly employed as a manager at Gavilon Grain, which runs a grain elevator in Eddyville.
Merrick is a farmer who contracted Gavilon Grain to sell his corn, wheat and soybeans at the grain elevator.
Between September 19, 2016 and May 5, 2021, Kingston and Merrick created multiple scale tickets for each truckload of crop that Merrick delivered. Kingston would electronically submit the scale tickets to Gavilon Grain’s headquarters in Nebraska for payment.
This meant Merrick was paid twice for each truckload of crop he delivered.
They both admitted during court proceedings that Merrick was paid $354,870.11 for phantom loads of product. After receiving payment from Gavilon Grain, Merrick would make a cash payment to Kingston.
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