Home » Two Men Sentenced to Federal Prison for Defrauding Their  Employer Out of Over $2 Million in Connection with the Sale of Chicken Frame Products

Two Men Sentenced to Federal Prison for Defrauding Their  Employer Out of Over $2 Million in Connection with the Sale of Chicken Frame Products

by Minden Press-Herald

SHREVEPORT, La. – United States Attorney Brandon B. Brown announced that  William Ross Hickman, 49, of Arcadia, Louisiana, and Brian K. Whiteman, 48, of  Haughton, were sentenced today on fraud charges.  

United States District Judge Elizabeth E. Foote sentenced Hickman to 52 months in  prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release. Hickman was also ordered to pay restitution  in the amount of $2,693,221.  

Brian K. Whiteman was sentenced to 20 months in prison, followed by 3 years of  supervised release. In addition, he was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $2,183,949.  

Hickman and Whiteman participated in a scheme to defraud which began prior to  2018 and involved Raeford Farms of Louisiana, LLC (Raeford Farms), where Hickman was  employed as the Sales Manager and Whiteman was as the Assistant Sales Manager of their  Arcadia production plant. Raeford Farms sells various products to include fresh and frozen  chicken, and chicken frames. A chicken frame is the core of the chicken that remains after  processing the breasts, thighs, wings, and legs. Hickman negotiated the sale of these chicken  products seeking the highest possible return when selling them.  

While employed at Raeford Farms, Hickman developed a scheme to fraudulently  divert business from Raeford Farms by using Group 7792 as an intermediary to purchase  chicken frames from Raeford Farms. Hickman used his position as Sales Manager to provide  favorable sales terms to other entities to the detriment of Raeford Farms. Hickman had a pre 

arranged agreement with an unnamed individual and his corporation to sell the chicken  frames to Heritage Food Sales (Heritage), which was another company controlled by  Hickman. Heritage paid Group 7792 a guaranteed return for each transaction but never took  possession of the chicken frames or added anything of value to the transaction. Hickman  would then sell the same chicken frames to a poultry wholesaler in Chattanooga, TN for  profit.  

To further the scheme to defraud, Hickman and others acting in concert with him, sent  invoices by email from Arcadia, Louisiana, through interstate commerce, for Heritage to  receive payment for the chicken frames. Hickman and Whiteman conspired together to

conceal the involvement of Heritage from Raeford Farms in these chicken frame transactions.  As Assistant Sales Manager for Raeford Farms, Whiteman was responsible for tracking  inventory and the details regarding all shipments. Whiteman provided this type of  information to Hickman to further the conspiracy to defraud in order to get a higher price for  chicken frame loads sold by Heritage. In exchange for his participation in the conspiracy to  defraud, Whiteman understood and agreed with Hickman that Heritage would pay him  through his own business entity, All Trade Enterprise, LLC (All Trade). Hickman would pay  Whiteman a monthly commission through All Trade and occasionally to him personally. The  transactions conducted during the time period of this investigation resulted in a loss of over  $2 million to Raeford Farms. 

Hickman and Whiteman each pleaded guilty on March 8, 2023, to conspiracy to  commit fraud against the United States. 

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by  Alexander C. Van Hook, Special Counsel to the U.S. Attorney, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Tennille M. Gilreath. 

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