Judge’s disagreement with sentence ends farmer’s plea deal

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(Photo/Kim Closson)

A judge has rejected a sentencing deal that carried a five-year cap for fraud committed by a farmer in southwestern Michigan.

Judge Paul Maloney says it doesn’t reflect the “seriousness” of the crime. Mike Stamp had pleaded guilty to conspiracy in a scheme to defraud a government crop insurance program and lenders in Van Buren County.

MLive.com reports that Stamp has withdrawn his guilty plea, and a fall trial has been scheduled in Kalamazoo federal court. Stamp’s wife, Melissa Stamp, pleaded guilty to knowing about the fraud but not reporting it.

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