Jeremy Farmer, ex-Lawrence mayor, sentenced to prison for embezzling from food bank

Former Lawrence Mayor Jeremy Farmer has been sentenced after pleading guilty in September 2016 to a single felony count of interstate transportation of stolen funds. (File/YouTube)

A federal judge ordered a former Lawrence mayor Tuesday to serve 10 months in prison and pay restitution after pleading guilty to embezzling from a food bank serving Douglas County.

Jeremy J. Farmer, 33, of Lawrence, entered the plea in September 2016 to a single felony count of interstate transportation of stolen funds, said U.S. Attorney Tom Beall.

Farmer was ordered by U.S. District Court Judge Carlos Murguia to spend time behind bars and to pay $81,446 in restitution for stealing from the nonprofit organization Just Food. Farmer used his access to Just Foods’ bank accounts and the ability to alter internal financial records to conceal from the organization’s board of directors the theft of more than $5,000 from 2013 to 2015.

He had been employed by the food bank since 2011, and was investigated by authorities for not paying more than $50,000 in federal and state payroll taxes on behalf of Just Food.

In August 2015, Farmer resigned from the Lawrence City Commission and his role as the city’s mayor, and left his job as executive director of Just Food. The organization collaborates with dozens of partner agencies to feed families.

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