The former owner of a Smithfield, Va., farm equipment company has been charged with obtaining more than $1.7 million in loans in the names of friends and customers.
Sixty-year-old Linda Rowland appeared in federal court in Norfolk on Friday and was released until her next court appearance July 2. If convicted of wire fraud, she could face up to 20 years in prison.
According to an FBI affidavit, Rowland admitted taking out bogus loans on nonexistent equipment because the business she owned with her husband was failing. Their sons now run the Rowland Equipment Co.
Linda Rowland's attorney, Andrew Protogyrou, said in court that his client has been suffering from severe mental health issues.