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Minnesota farm equipment dealer found guilty of three counts of theft

Kevin Ray Hewitt, 61, was sentenced to serve 60 days in Le Sueur County Jail each year through 2027, as well as pay $390,000 in restitution costs to victims.

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LE CENTER, Minn. — A farm equipment dealer from Le Sueur was convicted of three felony counts of theft during a sentencing hearing Friday.

Kevin Ray Hewitt, 61, was sentenced to serve 60 days in Le Sueur County Jail each year through 2027, as well as pay $390,000 in restitution costs to victims.

Hewitt, of Hewitt Drainage Equipment, pleaded guilty to accepting payments for farm equipment from three farmers, but never delivering, according to court documents. The payments ranged from $35,000 to $47,630, which Hewitt used to pay personal debts.

Hewitt will be on probation for 15 years. If he violates the conditions of his probation, he will be sent to the Minnesota Correctional Facility in St. Cloud for a more than three-year sentence.

Hewitt is now in custody and will serve 60 days in jail starting Friday, followed by 60 days on July 1 each year through 2027 in Le Sueur County Jail, according to court documents.

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Prosecutors initially charged Hewitt with 12 counts of theft in 2020. Hewitt pleaded guilty to three of these counts, the rest were dismissed.

Hewitt has until 2037 to pay the over $390,922 he owes the farmers he swindled, according to court documents.

One farmer sent Hewitt $47,630 to pay for a plow that he purchased from Hewitt in 2019, but never received. The farmer reported asking Hewitt for his money back and the check Hewitt sent him was later declined.

Hewitt cheated another farmer out of his down payment of $35,000 for tilling equipment he ordered from Hewitt Draining Equipment. The farmer reported that Hewitt failed to send him the equipment, telling him that the manufacturer was behind on production, while Hewitt had deposited the funds into his personal checking account.

A dealer was swindled in a trade agreement with Hewitt, as Hewitt took and sold a plow for $35,000 and never returned the replacement plow he had promised the dealer.

(c)2022 The Free Press (Mankato, Minn.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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