Richie Farmer: Former Kentucky agriculture commissioner pleads guilty to theft in office

State's basketball legend is going to prison

FRANKFORT, Ky. - Richie Farmer, former Kentucky agriculture commissioner and one of the state's basketball legends, admitted misappropriating federal funds and accepted a prison term of 21 to 27 months during a federal court hearing Friday.

The former high school star from Clay County and a member of the University of Kentucky's beloved "Unforgettables" pleaded guilty to two counts of theft from a program receiving federal funds.

Read Farmer's plea agreement below or at

Farmer also agreed to pay $120,500 in restitution to the state. Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove, who must approve the sentence, released Farmer on his own recognizance until his sentencing hearing on Jan. 14.

Farmer admitted that he misappropriated $120,500 by hiring his girl friend and others who didn’t perform work to justify their salaries. He also admitted that in 2008 he used approximately $19,500 in KDA money to buy rifles, rifle cases, knives, watches and gift cards for his own use.

Farmer was elected to two terms as Commissioner of Agriculture and was responsible for the supervision and administration of the KDA from January 2004 until January 2012. 


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