Regional
3:47 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

New Sentence Ordered For Farmer In $25M Tax Case

A federal appeals court has upheld the convictions of a southern New Mexico farmer and businessman for failing to pay $25 million in federal taxes and fraudulently collecting farm subsidies.

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver on Monday also ordered Bill Melot of Hobbs to be resentenced. He could face more prison time.

Melot was sentenced in 2011 to five years in prison and ordered to pay $18 million in restitution. He was convicted of tax evasion, failure to file tax returns and making false statements to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The court said Melot received a less severe sentence because a federal judge erred in finding that he had accepted responsibility for his crimes.

Melot's lawyer did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.

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