Minnesota farmer faces $19.7 million judgment, prison sentence in organic fraud case
Published: November 29, 2023
Category: Organic News
A federal court has ordered a Minnesota farmer to forfeit property toward a $19.7 million judgment after he pleaded guilty to wire fraud in a scheme to sell conventional grains as organic.
James Clayton Wolf and Adam Clifford Olson will be sentenced in a U.S. District Court in Minnesota in a scheme to sell $46 million of non-GMO corn and soybeans as organic.
In advance of the sentencing the court outlined a list of property and money that Wolf is required to forfeit. That includes funds from seven bank accounts totaling at least $7 million, six tracts of land, about 15 farm implements and other equipment, two semitrucks, three pickups, and two sports cars.
Wire fraud is a Class C felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and $250,000 in fines.
For years, Wolf provided grain buyers with copies of his National Organic Program certification, but according to an indictment, Wolf withheld information that the grains were not grown organically. His organic certification was revoked in 2020.
The indictment also alleged that Wolf directed some grain payments to a third party who then “spent the money for Wolf’s benefit.”
Meanwhile, Olson, owner of Olson Seed LLC in Windom, Minnesota, pleaded guilty to making false statements. Prosecutors have recommended an eight- to 14-month prison sentence for Olson.
Source: Progressive Farmer
To view source article, visit: https://www.dtnpf.com/agriculture/web/ag/news/business-inputs/article/2023/10/10/farmer-ordered-forfeit-property-19
Organic & Non-GMO Insights December 2023