Federal prosecutors are pursuing one of the largest fraud schemes in the history of organic farming.
Missouri farmer and businessman Randy Constant was charged with one count of wire fraud in connection with leading a scheme that marketed more than $140 million worth of non-organic corn, soybeans, and wheat as being certified organic.
Between the years 2010 and 2017 Constant defrauded 10 buyers, including food companies and other customers, who paid premium prices for organic grain that supposedly had been grown using sustainable methods. However, 90 percent of the grain sold was non-organic that he either grew himself, or bought from other farmers who he was aware used unapproved inputs including pesticides and nitrogen.
Documents relating to the case against Constant call for him to forfeit $128 million to the U.S. government and his interest in 70 pieces of farm equipment and machinery that have been acquired with proceeds gains through the fraud.
Lynda Kiernan is Editor with HighQuest Group Media and of the Oilseed & Grain News. If you would like to submit a contribution for consideration, please contact Ms. Kiernan at email@example.com.