Richie Farmer

Richie Farmer Files for Bankruptcy

May 9, 2016

Former state agriculture commissioner and University of Kentucky basketball star Richie Farmer, who went to prison for violating state ethics and campaign finance laws, has filed for bankruptcy.

Farmer filed a Chapter 7 petition May 4 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports Farmer indicated he is unemployed and living on $194 in monthly food stamps. The petition also noted that his parents give him an estimated $400 each month.

The petition listed assets of about $24,000, most of it in his state pension, and liabilities of about $386,000.

Farmer left a federal prison in West Virginia in December after serving a 27-month sentence for misappropriating government resources while in office, including having state workers build a basketball court at his house.

Richie Farmer to Move to Kentucky Halfway House

Dec 15, 2015
Kentucky News Network

Former state agriculture commissioner and University of Kentucky basketball star Richie Farmer is scheduled to leave a federal prison in West Virginia for a halfway house in Kentucky.

Farmer is serving a 27-month sentence for misappropriating government resources while in office, including having state workers build a basketball court for him at his house. Farmer was a member of the 1991-92 University of Kentucky basketball team nicknamed "The Unforgettables."

Farmer's father told WLEX-TV his son will go to a halfway house in Lexington on Friday. Federal Bureau of Prisons spokesman Ed Ross confirmed Farmer is transitioning to a halfway house. Ross said Farmer will be under strict supervision but will be allowed to go out into the community to work or find a job.

Farmer is scheduled to be released in March.

Pair Of Farmer Employees Reach Deal With Ethics Panel

Jul 14, 2014

The Executive Branch Ethics Commission has reached settlements with two brothers who worked in the state Agriculture Department under former Commissioner Richie Farmer.

The Courier-Journal reports Bill Ed Mobley admitted claiming pay for times he didn't carry out his job duties. He also admitted violating the ethics code by claiming mileage reimbursement for trips he didn't take. He was reprimanded and fined him $3,000.

The commission found that Steve Mobley violated the ethics code for processing his brother's time sheets and mileage reimbursement claims and for failing to report a gift. He was reprimanded and fined $2,500.

The commission already reached settlements with Farmer and four other employees, and one case is still pending.

Farmer also pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges and is serving 27 months in prison.

Kentucky Department of Agriculture

An auction of guns and knives purchased by the Department of Agriculture during the tenure of Richie Farmer has netted over $21,000. The Herald-Leader reports 16 knives sold for just under $6,800, while the 13 rifles brought in over $14,000  The highest bid for an item was $1,400 for a rifle actually used by Farmer. 

The proceeds benefit an Agriculture Department garden project. Farmer is serving a 27-month jail term after pleading guilty to misappropriating government resources.

The state will auction dozens of high quality collector's items left over from the a 2008 agriculture conference during Richie Farmer's tenure as Kentucky agriculture commissioner.

A news release from current agriculture commissioner James Comer says the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources will sell 13 Remington rifles and 16 Case knives in an auction May 5th at their Frankfort headquarters with the proceeds going to help fund an urban garden project.

Pitino, Ex-Teammate Sought Mercy For Farmer

Apr 11, 2014

University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino asked a federal judge to show mercy when sentencing ex-Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer and allow him to "become a productive citizen again" after the basketball star's fall from grace.

Pitino's letter is among 29 dispatches sent to U.S. District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove before Farmer's sentencing in January for abusing public office. Farmer is serving a 27 month sentence.

Van Tatenhove unsealed the letters Thursday evening.

Among the family and friends writing letters was former Kentucky basketball star and current University of Florida assistant coach John Pelphrey. Pitino coached both men at Kentucky from 1989 through 1992.

Farmer and Pelphrey were part of a Wildcats team that earned the school its first postseason trip after a two-year ban for NCAA infractions.

Kentucky News Network

U. S. District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove has ruled that former Kentucky agriculture commissioner Richie Farmer can delay his report date to March 25th so he can watch his son play in the state's Sweet 16 basketball tournament.

He was originally set to enter prison Tuesday. The ruling said the decision is not to give Farmer preferential treatment but is "out of deference to the family."

Kentucky attorney general Jack Conway says he has no issue with Farmer delaying his jail sentence. Conway said Farmer is "a fallen idol" whom he believes will pay his debt to society well beyond the 27 months he'll spend in prison.

The University of Kentucky may have retired Richie Farmer’s number 32 jersey, but the federal Bureau of Prisons is bringing it back.

The prison system has assigned Farmer inmate number 16226-032 for use when he reports to a yet-to-be revealed facility by March 18.

The former Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner is set to serve 27 months behind bars after pleading guilty to abusing his public office.

Former Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner and University of Kentucky basketball star Richie Farmer has been sentenced to 27 months in prison. 

Farmer previously pleaded guilty to corruption charges for misappropriating government resources while in office. The sentence also requires Farmer to pay over $120,000 in restitution for abusing his power. Farmer’s attorney Guthrie True says he's disappointed in the ruling. He'd sought to have Farmer serve only 21 months.

“All that Richie’s done and accomplished in life is not wiped out by this, and I think people ought to remember that,” said True.  “I mean, he served our state well in many respects as the commissioner of agriculture and, you know, he certainly served a lot of interests that are important to a lot of us, that give pride to our state, our basketball team, our university. And he’s accomplished a lot in life and he will accomplish more in life.”

Farmer is ordered to report to prison on March 18. After his sentence is served, he will be placed on one year’s probation. He expressed contrition as he left the courtroom.

“Obviously disappointed, but, you know, certainly I wanna say to the people of the state how sorry that I am and how much they’ve meant to me and thank them for all the understanding and, you know, you make bad decisions, poor judgments, and, you know, you own up to those mistakes and you move on,” said Farmer.  And that’s what I would hope that people of the state would be willing to do.”

Farmer was a member of the UK men’s basketball team’s roster of star players known as “The Unforgettables.”

Richie Farmer Scheduled in Court Friday for Plea Deal

Sep 13, 2013
Kentucky News Network

Former Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner and college basketball star Richie Farmer is scheduled to appear in court to finalize a plea deal that could send him to prison for about two years.

Farmer, who served two terms as state agriculture commissioner, is expected to enter guilty pleas in federal and state court on government corruption charges on Friday.

Farmer, whose jersey hangs as a monument in the rafters of Rupp Area, was accused of using Department of Agriculture employees to work on his Frankfort home, including building a basketball court in his backyard.

Officials said Farmer also hired friends, including his girlfriend, as special assistants who did little or no work for the agency. And, they accused Farmer of using government employees to do personal errands, including babysitting his children.

Ethics Panel Approves Richie Farmer's Plea Deal

Sep 9, 2013

The Executive Branch Ethics Commission has approved an agreement with former University of Kentucky basketball star Richie Farmer to resolve administrative charges related to his management of the state Department of Agriculture.

That agreement is part of an overall deal that will also resolve government corruption charges pending in state and federal court.

Farmer, who played on a University of Kentucky team dubbed the "Unforgettables," faces about 2 years in prison under a plea deal announced last week. He had been scheduled to stand trial Oct. 22 on a five-count federal indictment. He is expected to enter guilty pleas to the criminal charges on Friday.

Farmer, who led the Department of Agriculture from 2004 through 2011, could have been sentenced to 10 years in prison if he had been convicted.

Kentucky News Network

Former Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer is likely headed to prison for about two years.  His attorney says Farmer has reached a plea agreement in his government corruption case. 

The plea agreement with state and federal prosecutors and the Executive Branch Ethics Commission would resolve all pending and potential charges related to Farmer’s illegal activities while head of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture from 2004 to 2011.  Farmer was headed to trial in federal court next month on a five-count indictment, as well as a 42-count charge brought by the state ethics panel. 

“This decision comes after much soul-searching and risk assessment by Richie and his family,” said Farmer’s attorney Guthrie True in a news release.

True acknowledged that federal prosecutors were planning to bring a second indictment, and the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office intends to file charges against Farmer and his sister alleging campaign finance allegations.

Defense attorneys for a former Kentucky agriculture commissioner haven’t filed any motions ahead of an October federal trial.

Richie Farmer is facing five counts related to his time in office from 2004 to 2011. A federal judge set an August 2 deadline for Farmer’s lawyer to file defense motions, but the Courier-Journal reports no such motions were submitted. That’s despite the judge’s decision to extend the filing deadline in response to Farmer’s attorney’s claims that he needed extra time to mile motions.

Farmer’s attorney is Guthrie True, who represented then-Barren County Sheriff Chris Eaton in his recent federal trial in Bowling Green.

Farmer was indicted in April on four counts involving alleged theft of federal funds and one count of soliciting a bribe while agriculture commissioner. Farmer has pleaded not guilty to all counts. The government wants him to repay $450,000--the amount they say he misused while in office.

The Executive Branch Ethics Commission has handed down public reprimands and fines to three former employees in the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.

The panel took the action Monday against Bruce Harper of Harrodsburg, Chris Parsons of Mount Vernon and George "Doug" Begley of London.

Harper agreed to pay a $4,500 fine for soliciting donations from businesses his agency regulated and for attempting to interfere with enforcement actions in cases involving grain storage and disposal of dead animals.

Parsons agreed to pay a $5,000 fine for filing false timesheets and for using his state-assigned vehicle for personal purposes.

Prosectors: Richie Farmer's Wrongdoing Pre-Dates 2008

May 20, 2013

Former Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer's "unwarranted sense of entitlement" goes beyond what he's been charged with, federal prosecutors said in a court filing.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenneth Taylor said in a notice filed in court late Friday that the government intends to introduce testimony and other evidence that Farmer misappropriated and misused public resources before 2008, the last year listed in an indictment.

Because of a five-year statute of limitations, Taylor said Farmer could not be charged with anything that may have happened before 2008.

Farmer is a former University of Kentucky basketball player who was elected agriculture commissioner in 2003 and 2007. He has pleaded not guilty to four counts of misappropriating government funds for the benefit of himself, his family and friends.

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