URBANA — A Piatt County farmer is slated to be tried in federal court in November after he was indicted by a federal grand jury last month on charges of bank fraud and concealment of bankruptcy assets.

During a court appearance Tuesday in Urbana, Chief U.S. District Judge Sara Darrow set a Nov. 18 trial date for James R. Williams, 59, of Cisco.

According to the indictment, Williams allegedly defrauded both Gifford State Bank and First Security Bank by submitting false information on a balance sheet he used to get a $4.5 million loan for his business, RJW Williams Farms Inc.

Court records said losses to the banks totaled more than $500,000.

The indictment also alleged that Williams concealed more than $500,000 in grain sales from creditors of the bankruptcy estate of RJW Williams Farms Inc.

Williams allegedly instructed employees of a Niantic-based ADM grain elevator to issue checks to his son, which were then deposited into an account held jointly by Williams and his son.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Meredith Reiter. The charges were investigated by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Office of Inspector General in collaboration with the Central Illinois Bankruptcy Fraud Working Group.

If convicted of bank fraud, Williams faces up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million. If convicted of concealing his assets, he faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Williams remains released on bond.

tmitchel@news-gazette.com