MACON, Ga. (WRBL) – A former loan officer convicted of defrauding two agricultural financial institutions was sentenced to prison.

William Spigener III, 33, from Columbus, Georgia, received 40 months in prison and three years of supervised release after pleading guilty to conspiracy to defraud a financial institution.

In addition to Spigener’s prison sentence, U.S. District Court Judge Marc T. Treadwell ordered him to pay $474,148.02 to AgGeorgia Farm Credit and $174,489.42 to AgSouth Farm Credit in restitution. 

Co-defendants Eary Fuller, 57, Johnnie Farrow, 66, and Demetria Bell, 50, all from Macon, Georgia, were convicted and await sentencing.

“Our office will do everything within our power to hold fraudsters whose schemes cripple our
local businesses, their employees and our citizens accountable for their crimes,” said U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary. “The negative impact of white-collar fraud is far-reaching and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, working with our law enforcement partners, will seek justice for victims.”

Court documents report Spigener created a scheme to defraud AgGeorgia Farm Credit and AgSouth Farm Credit in Perry, Georgia, where he worked as a loan officer from February 2012 until his resignation in February 2019. 

During his employment with the financial institutions, Spigener recruited co-defendants Fuller, Farrow, and Bell to pretend to be borrowers with both institutions.

Spigener created documentation to ensure the loans applications were approved. In exchange, Spigener supplied Fuller, Farrow, and Bell 10% of the loan proceeds.

Although Spigener made some repayments on the loans, he was unable to repay the majority of the loan, and as a result, both institutions suffered financial losses. 

Spigener confessed the intended loss was more than $550,000, but less than $1.5 million.