ALBANY, Ga. — A jury of 10 women and two men at about 2:30 p.m. Friday found Southeastern Farm Brokers owner Joseph W. Jordan guilty on one count conspiracy and three counts of bribing a bank officer.
Jordan stood emotionless as the verdicts, including a not guilty on the second of five counts, were read in U.S. District Court Judge Louis Sand’s Albany courtroom.
While he is facing a possible 35 years in prison, Sands allowed Jordan to remain free on his own recognizance. Jordan must contact probation officers within 72 hours.
A sentence could also have five years supervised release after any time served. Jordan’s fines could total $1 million or three times the amount of his bribes, court officials said.
After the four-day trial, sentencing could be scheduled within two months, stated a court official.
U.S. Attorney Michael Moore stated, “Especially during challenging economic times, we will not tolerate this kind of fraud. The financial system works when we all play by the rules and obey the laws.”
Jordan operated outside the rules, according to the indictments. He was charged with attempting to bribe Larry Malone, chief lending officer at Southwest Georgia Farm Credit. The bribes amounted to more than $440,000 so that Jordan could secure more than $3.4 million in loans from Malone’s organization.
According to Buddy Parker, Jordan’s attorney, there will be an appeal of the verdict.
“As the judge said, this was a difficult and hard case,” Parker said. “There was insufficient evidence to support the verdict and we will appeal.”