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Owner of former Bozeman whiskey distillery admits bank fraud

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Posted at 5:08 PM, Feb 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-23 19:08:40-05

MISSOULA — The owner of a former whiskey distillery in Bozeman admitted to defrauding a bank that had loaned him money for the business, U.S. Attorney Leif M. Johnson said on Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2022.

Bryan Lee Schultz, 46, of Las Vegas, Nevada, pleaded guilty to bank fraud. Schultz faces a maximum of 30 years in prison, a $1 million fine and five years of supervised release.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Kathleen L. DeSoto presided. Sentencing was set for June 16 before U.S. District Judge Dana L. Christensen. The court will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. Schultz was released pending further proceedings.

The government alleged in court documents that Schultz started Roughstock Distillery and that it was open between April 2008 and June 2016. To operate the business, Schultz obtained two loans from Big Sky Western Bank, with the first loan for $213,000 and the second loan for $90,000. Under the loan terms, Schultz granted the bank a security interest in all collateral of Roughstock Distillery, including proceeds from the sale of inventory. The bank used the inventory as security so it would not lose money if Schultz defaulted on the loans. The government further alleged that in October 2016, Schultz received a $100,000 payment for the sale of whiskey stills and defrauded the bank by not informing it of the sale or remitting payment of the proceeds to the bank as required.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan G. Weldon is prosecuting the case, which was investigated by the FBI.