Stanfield farmer Carlos Carranza Jr. was sentenced to 21 months in prison today for blowing a government loan on strippers, a BMW and other items.
Carranza Jr.'s wife, Laura Murrill, 31, will serve a three-year probation sentence for helping to spend the dough.
Carranza Jr. used to work with family members at Carranza Farms in Pinal County, but he split off in 2009 or 2010 to farm on his own, court records state. Just prior to that, in 2008, he married Murrill -- who "readily admits" she married Carranza because she thought he was rich.
The farmer, an apparent drunk who spent most of 2009 in prison on an aggravated DUI conviction, applied for a U.S. Department of Agriculture loan in February of 2010, claiming he needed the money for farming expenses.
That April, the government wired $120,000 to his bank account. He used the money like his personal "piggy bank," records state.
Two grand went to his ex-wife, $20,000 to a buddy. He gave $50,000 in cashier's checks to his gold-digging wife, who ran out and snagged a 2007 BWM 328i. They also bought each other various personal items.
Seeing his jackpot dwindle rapidly, Carranza applied on April 6, 2010, for a second loan installment of $75,000. He provided the government with forged receipts for bogus farm-equipment purchases, according to the sentencing memorandum.
Carranza, who pleaded guilty in February, also agrees to pay the government $56,600 in restitution.
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