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  • Writer's pictureDennis McCaslin

Fifty-two year-old Oklahoma cattleman pleads guilty in $1.2 million check kiting scheme

A Welch cattleman who defrauded First State Bank of Commerce pleaded guilty Friday in federal court, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson.

John Theodore Linthicum, 52, also known as Teddy Linthicum, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud before U.S. District Judge Gregory K. Frizzell.

“Teddy Linthicum perpetrated a check kiting scheme for his own gain and swindled First State Bank of Commerce out of $1.2 million,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson. “Bank fraud, and other white-collar schemes, will not be tolerated. The U.S. Attorney’s Office will hold fraudsters, like Linthicum, accountable for their crimes.”

The check kiting scheme was carried out by Linthicum and another cattle dealer, Douglas Mayfield, from October 2016 to January 2017.

In the fall of 2016, Linthicum experienced dwindling cash flow in his cattle business.

He proposed that Mayfield write NSF checks to Linthicum that he could deposit into his bank account, thereby enabling Linthicum to avoid overdraft limitations and continue his cattle operation. Linthicum knew that Mayfield did not have sufficient funds to cover the checks he was writing to Linthicum.

Mayfield provided approximately 30 insufficiently funded checks from his accounts at Grand Savings Bank, in Grove, to Linthicum for deposit into Linthicum’s account at First State Bank.

Most often, Mayfield would simply sign the checks and Linthicum would fill in the amounts payable to himself. Linthicum frequently wrote in the memo notation that the checks were for the purchase of cattle, which was not true. The checks generally ranged between $100,000 and $375,000. The bank lost approximately $1.2 million as a result of the scheme.

Linthicum’s sentencing is set for Aug. 3, 2021. Mayfield previously pleaded guilty to the same charge in federal court, and his sentencing is pending.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)-Office of Inspector General and Federal Housing Finance Agency-Office of Inspector General conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kevin Leitch and Vani Singhal are prosecuting the case.

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