The owner of the now-closed Northwood (Iowa) Lumber received a 10-year suspended prison sentence today for committing $300,000 worth of fraud to help keep his business alive, a local newspaper says.

Randy Severson, who also at one time was mayor of Northwood, committed the fraud against Northwood State Bank between 2011 and 2014 while president of Northwood Lumber. "At the time I wanted to save the lumberyard for my family," the Mason City Globe Gazette reported. Severson also was quoted as saying "The city really needed a lumberyard. It was a big part of Northwood."

Northwood Lumber closed in February. The company was sold, and Severson said the bank is being repaid through his liquidated assets.

The newspaper added:

Severson was accused of fraudulently using the names of customers, family members and acquaintances on invoices he submitted to the bank for lines of credit. Severson pleaded guilty in June to two counts of felony first-degree fraudulent practice. He said he sustained a brain injury in a 2002 car accident.

"My brain doesn't work quite as good as it used to," he said.

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