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Emily Welker, Published June 11 2013

Langdon man pleads guilty to money laundering

FARGO – A Langdon man pleaded guilty here Monday in federal court to charges alleging he advertised himself as a licensed grain bin dealer, then used the money farmers gave him to build his own home.

Lance Bryce Schill, 32, entered a guilty plea in U.S. District Court in Fargo to a single count of felony money laundering.

Court documents filed in federal court April 30 say that starting in November 2009, Schill opened a business called Schill Construction, a company that erected Westeel brand grain bins. Schill took out ads in a local newspaper and on radio stations, claiming he was an authorized Westeel dealer.

Court documents say that Schill asked advance payments from farmers to buy materials for the grain bins that he would install before the harvest season, as a down payment.

When farmers started asking about the bins, Schill told them he had ordered the materials, which were being held in Fargo, and that he was busy with other jobs.

In the meantime, court documents say, Schill was using the money to build his home in Langdon, and had never been a licensed Westeel dealer in the first place. The fraud continued until December 2010.

Court documents say Schill also transferred $25,000 in funds from Strata Corporation for concrete for his personal use to U.S. Bank, the basis of the money laundering charge.

Schill was also originally charged with felony mail fraud, a charge dropped as part of a plea deal.

Under the terms of the deal, Schill is expected to be sentenced to forfeit $20,000, in addition to the restitution to be determined at his sentencing.

Schill’s sentencing is set for Aug. 29.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Emily Welker at (701) 241-5541