After nearly four years, a federal jury has now convicted a Plainville, Kansas, man accused in a check kiting and fraud scheme. Per a sentencing agreement, Tyler Gillum will face 60 months in prison and more than $7.2 million in restitution.
In 2019, the former owners of Plainville Livestock Commission in Rooks County filed for bankruptcy. Shortly after, Gillum, now 47, and his wife, Camden, 50, were accused of costing banks billions of dollars as part of a scheme that took place including bank fraud, false statements on loans, and false statements on credit applications ultimately costing banks billions of dollars from 2015 to 2017.
According to court documents, the Gillums were initially charged with making false statements to the Small Business Administration in a loan for $1.5 million, 31 counts of fraud, and an application for a a half million dollar line of credit.
All together, the check kiting or fraud that takes advantage of the time between presenting a check and the receipt of funds. Tyler Gillum was also accused of setting more than $2 billion in funding that included included 409 wire transfers and 7,584 checks sent through interstate facilities of banks without the actual secured loans.
Michael Burns, a senior vice president of Landmark, a bank affected by the fraud testified that the bank faced a $10 million shortfall, but that when confronted, “Mr. Gillum told Mr. Burns that the money came from legitimate cattle sales.”
“Because of the defendant’s crimes, banks suffered millions of dollars in losses. These fraudulent acts should be of concern to everyone, because the stability our nation’s banking system is vital to the financial health of this country,” said U.S. Attorney Duston Slinkard, District of Kansas.
The fraud didn’t just affect banks. It affected other dozens of cattle ranchers in the area. In the aftermath of Gillum’s crimes, payments to ranchers for the sale of their cattle were delayed for nearly a year.
Camden Gillum’s charges were dismissed with prejudice. The livestock auction barn formerly known as Plainville is now being operated by Heartland Regional Stockyards, which is owned by Lloyd and Judy Schneiber.