Acting United States Attorney Dennis R. Holmes announced that a Dupree, South Dakota, man convicted of Conversion of Mortgaged or Pledged Property was sentenced on April 19, 2021, by Chief Judge Roberto A. Lange, U.S. District Court.
Daris William LaPlante, age 51, was sentenced to five years of probation and ordered to pay $74,700.58 in restitution to the Farm Service Agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He must also pay a $100 special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.
LaPlante was indicted by a federal grand jury on August 11, 2020. He pled guilty on February 1, 2021.
In 2015, LaPlante took out a loan from the Farm Service Agency to purchase livestock and farm equipment for his ranch near Dupree, South Dakota. The livestock and equipment was secured as collateral for the loan. Over the next several years, LaPlante knowingly sold 44 head of cattle without the Farm Service Agency’s knowledge or consent. LaPlante kept the profits for himself instead of paying back his loan. He also gave away 20 cows that he could no longer care for, also without the Farm Service Agency’s knowledge or consent. The total loss for the stolen cattle amounted to $74,700.58.
The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General. Assistant U.S. Attorney Cameron J. Cook prosecuted the case.