The owner of Wisconsin Dairy State Cheese Company was convicted in federal court for stealing $21,250.97 from 83 farmers in Wood County.
Michael Moran was sentenced to one year of probation, 100 hours of community service, and more than $9,000 in fines and other costs.
The clerk of courts received the money Moran stole, which will go back to the farmers who are owed the restitution. Moran then owes a $5,000 fine, plus applicable fees, costs, surcharges, which total about $9,442.65.
“I’m proud of the work Wisconsin Department of Justice did to get justice for these hard-working Wisconsinites,” said Attorney General Kaul. “This case has ensured that 83 farmers got the money they were owed and hopefully will deter future theft from Wisconsin dairy farmers.”
Moran was convicted of forging the names of farmers on underpayment checks. He then would take the checks and put them in the cash register at the cheese store in Rudolph and use them for himself.
“Processors, such as cheese plants, write underpayment checks to producers, such as dairy farmers, when the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) sets the price of milk higher than what a processor initially paid for the milk. USDA auditors determine the amount of underpayment and order processors to issue the underpayment checks,” the Wisconsin Department of Justice stated.