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story.lead_photo.caption FILE — U.S. District Court in Little Rock is shown in this file photo.

A Cross County farmer has been indicted on two federal charges accusing him of providing false information to obtain $2.94 million in loans from Simmons Bank in 2014 and 2015.

The indictment also charges Walter Keith Lockley, 51, of Cherry Valley with one count of wire fraud, alleging that in February and March of 2016, he submitted a forged letter claiming to be from the bank to Helena Chemical Co. to obtain a line of credit.

According to the indictment, handed up Jan. 7 by a grand jury meeting in Little Rock, Lockley obtained loans from Simmons to finance his farming operation, Walter Lockley & Sons and Walter Lockley Partnership, using collateral including crops, farm products and farm equipment.

It says that on Jan. 24, 2014, he misrepresented his assets by claiming to be in possession of crops he had already sold or pledged to sell, to induce the bank to give him a $1.4 million loan. Then on Feb. 26, 2015, it alleges, he did the same to influence the bank to lend him another $1.54 million.

In February and March of 2016, the document alleges, he devised and participated in a scheme to defraud Helena Chemical Co. by again claiming to be in possession of crops he had already sold or pledged to sell, and also submitting a forged letter "confirming" that Simmons had agreed to provide him a loan. His purpose was to induce the company to extend him a line of credit, which was approved, the indictment says. It doesn't specify the amount of credit sought.

Metro on 01/16/2020

Print Headline: Arkansas farmer named in loan-fraud indictment


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