A Mount Vernon, South Dakota man accused of stealing $400,000 worth of grain from a Davison County farm family of David and Scott Estabrook in the Mount Vernon area, has been sentenced to serve five years in prison and pay restitution.

Authorities alleged that 48-year old Merle Northrup over a span of five years between 2012 and 2016, sold loads of corn and soybeans under his own name while working for the farm family, keeping the proceeds. He pleaded no contest in March to a grand theft charge.

The Daily Republic reports Northrup was sentenced Tuesday (April 17). Judge Chris Giles said he was concerned that Northrup showed no remorse and took no responsibility.

Giles sentenced him to 15 years in prison but suspended 10 years on the condition he repay what he stole and also pay court fees and costs. In total, Northrup took $411,220.68.

Northrup was immediately remanded to the custody of the sheriff.

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