Following an acceptance of a plea agreement by all parties, Robert Gale Adams, 59, received a deferred sentence for fraudulent sales practices and was placed on three years’ probation in district court in Crawford County on Tuesday morning.
Judge Steve J. Andreasen handed down the sentence after asking the mandatory questions to affirm that Adams understood what the plea agreement would mean and the rights he would be giving up.
On May 15, 2018, Adams, who owned Adams Motor Company in Denison, Manning and Ida Grove, was arrested and charged with 16 counts by the Iowa Department of Transportation.
Under the plea agreement, Adams pled guilty only to Count No. 14, fraudulent sales practices under $10,000, a Class D felony. The other 15 counts were dropped.
The fraudulent sales practices charge alleged that Adams sold life and disability coverage to an individual for $760.06 but never sent the application or the premiums to Central States Health & Life Company.
Adams was ordered to pay a fine of $750 and $140 in court costs.
At the beginning of the proceedings, Andreasen said he had discussed the length of probation with Adams’ attorney and said he was looking at two years, probably three years, but was not considering the four or five years that are allowable.
Adams agreed to the factual basis of the criminal complaint on count No. 14, which was read by Crawford County Attorney Colin Johnson, that he took money for the insurance policy and did not send it to Central States Health & Life Company and that this was done to defraud.
He agreed that the individual and the insurance company suffered a monetary loss, adding that was until he paid restitution.
Before handing down the sentence, Andreasen referred to five letters of reference written by members of Adams’ family and friends and said he was going to consider the letters for the purpose of the sentencing.
When asked if he had anything to say before being sentenced, Adams said, “I’m sorry for what has happened. I’ve worked really hard to right everything that was wrong.”
The judge added that the plea agreement and sentencing in district court in Iowa would not have any bearing on a charge Adams said had been filed against him in Illinois.
Andreason said Adams would probably be sent to participate in some form of credit counseling as part of parole, but also pointed out that Adams is formally or informally engaged in that already, which is why he left this to the discretion of the parole officer.
Andreasen said he believed imposing a three-year term of probation is appropriate to keep Adams on the right path. He added that the parole officer always has the ability to recommend ending parole before the term is up.