Mont. man sentenced to 3 years for bank fraud

GREAT FALLS, Mont. -- A Malta, Mont. man has been sentenced to nearly three years in prison for defrauding a Belt bank when he and his wife applied for operating credit for their ranch.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says 50-year-old Steven Lloyd Knudsen was sentenced Monday by U.S. District Judge Sam Haddon in Great Falls and ordered to pay $948,555 in restitution. Knudsen was taken into custody.

Knudsen earlier pleaded guilty to federal agricultural loan guarantee fraud and conversion of pledged or secured property.

Prosecutors charged Knudsen and his wife, Lori, with making false representations about their assets and liabilities in applying for operating loans from Belt Valley Bank. They also were charged with selling assets that had been pledged as collateral.

Lori Knudsen was sentenced to 27 months in prison in August.