Former Watertown farmer sentenced to 10 years, $7.78M restitution in bank fraud case

ABERDEEN, S.D.(Aberdeen American News)- A former Watertown farmer who admitted to bank fraud and was ordered to pay back more than $7.78 million in restitution has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Richard “Butch” Carpenter, 68, who now lives in Moorhead, Minn., pleaded guilty in federal court earlier this year. He was initially scheduled for sentencing in September, but didn’t show up for the hearing. He was later arrested on a bench warrant issued by Judge Charles B. Kornmann and has since been in custody.

At his sentencing Monday in Aberdeen, five years of Carpenter’s sentence were suspended. He must pay a $100 special assessment.

According to court documents, initial restitution owed to two different banks was more than $8.3 million. Carpenter’s attorney, Tom Sannes of Webster, previously said that some restitution has been paid with the liquidation of land, cattle and machinery.

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