FROM:
Nick Muyo, Public Information Officer   CONTACT PERSON:
John Chase, Deputy District Attorney
(408) 792-2595   For release on March 20, 2009   JURY CONVICTS SAN MARTIN DAIRY FARMER OF THEFT AND FORGERY   After a two-week trial, a Santa Clara County jury convicted 41-year old Jeffrey Whalen of  five felony counts of  grand theft and two felony counts of forgery, all involving the sale of cows or sheep.  The jury also found true a special allegation that the amount that Mr. Whalen stole exceeded $150,000.   In April 2004, Mr. Whalen, the owner of Whalen Dairy Farm on Middle Avenue in San Martin, pretended to broker the sale of 156 head of cattle and some farm equipment for $180,000 between a local mortgage broker as buyer and a Texas dairy farmer as seller.  Mr. Whalen agreed to keep the cattle and equipment at the Whalen Dairy Farm, paying the buyer rent for the cattle and splitting the profits from the eventual sale of the cattle.  In connection with this sale, Mr. Whalen provided the buyer with a copy of the contract, seemingly signed by the Texas seller.  Unknown to the buyer, Mr. Whalen had forged the signature.   The Texas seller received the $180,000 from the buyer, but he applied those funds to a debt owed for a much lesser number of cattle purchased earlier by Mr. Whalen.  The Texas seller knew nothing about the mortgage broker buyer and was told by Mr. Whalen that these funds had been loaned to Mr. Whalen.   In December 2003, the same mortgage broker was tricked into loaning $65,000 to Mr. Whalen, based on Mr. Whalen’s false representation that certain cattle and hay trailers on the dairy farm were in imminent danger of foreclosure and repossession.   In January and March 2006, a local real estate agent was duped into investing $25,000 and then loaning $30,000 based on Mr. Whalen’s false representations that these funds would be used to purchase certain dairy cattle.  Mr. Whalen also stole 43 purebred sheep that this real estate agent owned by saying that he had a buyer for them.  Mr. Whalen drove off with the sheep, but no payment ever came from the buyer.   A sentencing date has not yet been set.  Mr. Whalen faces a maximum possible sentence of 7 years eight months in state prison.  He remains out of custody on $250,000 bail.   ###

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