Owner of Sandusky winery indicted for actions related to government-backed farm loans

SANDUSKY, Ohio - The office of U.S. Attorney for Northern Ohio Steven M. Dettelbach announced a five-count indictment today against the owner of a Sandusky winery with crimes related to the securing and repayment of loans for the winery.

52-year-old David Kraus, owner and operator of Kraus Winery, Inc., was charged with conversion of property pledged as collateral with a farm credit agency, making numerous false statements, including on a loan application to a federally insured bank, according to the release. 

According to the indictment, the New York man faces one count for allegedly disposing or converting property for his own use that he pledged as collateral for loans from the U.S. Department of Agriculture - Farm Service Agency. 

Kraus sold and directed the sale of grapes and wine valued at approximately $2 million which had been pledged as collateral for loans totaling $594,870, and failed to remit the proceeds from such sales to the USDA-FSA as required by the terms of the loans, according to the indictment.

In addition, Kraus is charged with four counts of making false statements and representations to officials at the USDA-FSA including reporting the winery received a few small checks for grape sales and had no wine sales in 2009, when, in fact, the winery had grape sales totaling $60,000 and wine sales totaling approximately $271,380 in 2009.

Kraus Winery Inc., is also known as Kraus Vineyard, Hermes Winery and Sand Hill Winery.


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