Attorneys for bankrupt ethanol producer VeraSun have dropped demands for farmers to repay a large chunk of the money they received for corn sales to the company just prior to the company’s bankruptcy filing in 2008. In late August, hundreds of farmers received letters which warned of legal action if payments weren’t received by September 30.
Today, VeraSun attorneys withdrew their demand for repayment. Don Elsbernd farms near Postville and is a past president of the Iowa Corn Growers Association. “What happened is the National Corn Growers and a lawyer who has been working with us…sent a strongly worded letter to (VeraSun) saying we didn’t think they necessarily did due diligence in sending out those letters,” Elsbernd said.
The National Corn Growers Association also questioned the legality of VeraSun’s demands. It’s not clear how many Iowa farmers received letters, but Elsbernd says he hasn’t heard from anyone who sent VeraSun a repayment. “I there are quite of them who contacted lawyers and probably already incurred some expense trying to defend themselves, which is unfortunate at this point,” Elsbernd said.
VeraSun operated five ethanol plants in Iowa. They were located in Albert City, Charles City, Dyersville, Fort Dodge and Hartley. Most of those operations were purchased by Valero Energy.