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Colorado man convicted of selling tractors to more than one buyerTell North Platte what you think

A Colorado man was convicted Feb. 2 of mail fraud when he tried to sell the same tractor to multiple buyers across state lines.

Benedict T. Palen, Jr., 63, of Denver faces up to 20 years of imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, as well as up to three years of supervised release.

U.S. Attorney Deborah R. Gilg said Palen, acting through his company, Great Plains Farms, sold a John Deere tractor to a buyer in Holdrege for $45,000, representing it to be free and clear of liens in September 2012.

The buyer mailed a $20,000 check to Palen as a down payment, and on the same day, Palen sold the same tractor to an individual in South Dakota, Gilg said.

Further investigation revealed that there was a lien against the tractor with a Kansas bank, and, the same tractor was sold in 2011 by the defendant, as vice-president of Pull Pans, Inc., to a company in Florida, Gilg said, citing court records.

When Palen had not delivered the tractor to the Holdrege buyer by April 2013, Palen claimed there was a discrepancy in the number of hours on the tractor and modified the agreement to provide for delivery of a different John Deere tractor. The buyer mailed a $25,000 check to Palen for the remaining amount due. 

However, this alternate tractor was also sold in 2011 by the defendant, as vice-president of Pull Pans, Inc., to the Florida company, Gilg said.

Sentencing is set for May 5. 

This case was investigated by the Postal Inspection Service.

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 2/13/2017
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