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Friday, February 26, 2010

This Little Piggy Got Tan, This Little Piggy Got Sunburned...And The Lady Got Prison

Posted By on Fri, Feb 26, 2010 at 1:54 PM

click to enlarge Natural light is so much better than the tanning bed. - WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
  • Wikimedia Commons
  • Natural light is so much better than the tanning bed.
They're calling her the "Midwest Madoff." Cathy Gieseker, that is.

The 45-year-old woman from Audrain County was sentenced to nine years in prison for operating a Ponzi scheme that prosecutors say racked up $27 million in losses to nearly 200 Missouri farmers.

Great story in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch today which details Gieseker's scheme. Her lawyer, Travis Noble, disputed the alleged wealth Gieseker amassed, noting that she didn't buy a beach house in Florida, or pimp out her garage with fancy cars like Lamborghinis and BMWs. OK. But she apparently did splurge on some unconventional accoutrements for her barnyard animals.  

From the Post:

A $900 tanning bed for show pigs and a barn cooling system to encourage thick, prize-winning coats in cattle were but two of the personal items bought by the woman who committed the largest agricultural fraud in Missouri history, investigators said Thursday.
And:

Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Albus said she had spent more than $2 million of the farmers' money on herself and her hobbies during those years, including $500,000 on show pigs, $100,000 for her daughter in college and $40,000 for her boyfriend, as well as taking out $88,000 in cash.

And:

Investigators, who agreed to speak to a reporter only on the condition of anonymity, said that in addition to the tanning lamp, Gieseker invested $100,000 to buy one boar, and as much as $35,000 on a single cow. She also spent $250,000 on two barns -- one for the show pigs and one for cattle.

If you put a tan on a pig, is it still a pig?

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