Georgia man sentenced to years in prison for farm loan scam

A former loan officer in Georgia has been sentenced to over three years in federal prison for reportedly defrauding banks out of $648,000 in loans to fake farmers.

William Spigener III, 33, pleaded guilty in court to conspiracy to defraud a financial institution.

According to court documents, Spigener orchestrated a plan to defraud AgSouth Farm Credit and AgGeorgia Farm Credit in Perry, Georgia, where he was  employed from 2012 to when he resigned in 2019.

Officials say Spigener recruited his three co-defendants to pretend to be farmers attempting to take out loans in return for around 10% of the loan proceeds.

While he made some repayments, officials say the Columbus man was unable to pay the rest back, leading to losses of more than $550,000.  

A U.S. District Judge sentenced Spigener to serve 40 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release. The judge also ordered him to pay $474,148 in restitution to AgGeorgia Farm Credit and $174,489 to AgSouth Farm Credit.

"No matter how elaborate or complicated the fraud scheme, the FBI will work to uncover it to protect American citizens and businesses from further damages," said Philip Wislar, Acting Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. "Spigener will now be held accountable for the damage his greed caused, sending a strong message to anyone considering such fraud that it is a serious crime with serious consequences."

Spigener had accomplices in the scheme — three Macon residents who have been convicted of conspiracy to defraud a financial institution, authorities said. They have not yet been sentenced.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.