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Galesburg woman convicted in cattle Ponzi scheme

Court news from Tri States Public Radio.

A Galesburg woman faces decades in prison for her role in a cattle Ponzi scheme that bilked $650 million from investors across the country.

A federal grand jury found Reva J. Stachniw, 70, of Galesburg, and Ron Throgmartin, 58, of Buford, Ga., guilty on one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, five counts of wire fraud, and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, they ran the Ponzi scheme from late 2017 to early 2019.

Victims were fraudulently solicited to invest in the scheme with promises their money was backed by short-term investments in cattle.

Stachniw and Throgmartin also solicited investments for a Colorado-based marijuana business, Universal Herbs LLC.

But the investments were not linked to any legitimate business activities or specific opportunities.

The defendants will be sentenced by a federal district judge on Jan. 6, 2023.They face up to 20 years for each of the wire fraud counts and 10 years for conspiracy to commit money laundering.

The FDIC and the FBI investigated the case.

Tri States Public Radio produced this story.  TSPR relies on financial support from our readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution.

Jane Carlson covers west central Illinois and southeast Iowa for Tri States Public Radio.