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Shane Sweetin Pleads Guilty to Lying On Loan Applications

2 min read

Marcus Shane Sweetin of Little Rock waived indictment and pleaded guilty Thursday to making false statements on loan applications, costing AgHeritage Farm Credit, BancorpSouth Bank and Regions Bank more than $3.3 million.

U.S. Attorney Cody Hiland announced that Sweetin, 46, had entered his plea before U.S. District Judge James M. Moody Jr.

A sentencing date has not yet been set.

According to the information — a charge filed directly by prosecutors — Sweetin, 46, applied for a loan from AgHeritage Farm Credit in April 2016 and offered a tractor as collateral. Sweeting used an invoice from an equipment dealer and a check from his company, Sweetin Farms LLC, as evidence that the tractor was paid for.

But, according to the charge, the tractor had actually been financed through another lender. “The real tractor bore a different serial number, and the check and invoice Sweetin provided in support of the loan were both fabricated,” according to Hiland’s press release. “During his plea hearing, Sweetin acknowledged this was only one of several instances where he lied to lenders in order to secure loans for his farming operation.”

His schemes included fictitious serial numbers and invoices, overstating his farmable acreage and understating debts on crop loans. He also double-pledged collateral.

“All told, these false statements secured loans that occasioned over $3.3 million in losses to AgHeritage, BancorpSouth, and Regions Bank,” according to the release.

Sweetin’s only previous appearance in Arkansas Business was in December 2014, when he and his wife, Kim, had purchased a 4,720-SF home in the Deauville Place neighborhood of west Little Rock’s Chenal Valley neighborhood for $817,475.

That purchase was financed with a $640,000 mortgage from AgHeritage.

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