S. Illinois farmer to change plea in fraud case

Tuesday, November 25, 2008 | 4:26 p.m. CST; updated 4:49 p.m. CST, Tuesday, November 25, 2008

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. — A southern Illinois farmer accused of bankruptcy fraud in a case that has ties to a double homicide is due in court for a change-of-plea hearing.

Joseph Diekemper of rural Carlyle is scheduled to appear Wednesday in federal court in East St. Louis. He’s pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors say Diekemper hid a tractor from creditors by taking it to the Bond County rental property of George Weedon. Weedon and his wife turned up dead in April 2007, just two days after Weedon approached the FBI about the tractor.

No one has been charged in the killings.

Diekemper’s wife, Margaret Diekemper, pleaded guilty last week to a federal conspiracy charge related to the bankruptcy. She’s agreed to help authorities and is scheduled for sentencing in February.


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