A 61-year-old Missouri farmer was in a federal courtroom in Cedar Rapids today, pleading guilty to selling non-organic grain as if it were certified as organic.
Randy Constant of Chillicothe, Missouri, has pled guilty to wire fraud. At the hearing in Cedar Rapids, Constant admitted he sold at least $142 million worth of grain in the past eight growing seasons — falsely telling customers it had been grown under organic standards on farms in Nebraska and Missouri. Prosecutors say many of Constant’s grain sales were made through a brokerage he owned that was based in Ossian, Iowa.
Constant will be sentenced later. He faces up to 20 years in prison and has already agreed to forfeit tens of millions of dollars to the government.
In a related prosecution, three farmers from Overton, Nebraska, pled guilty to fraud in October for selling grain they grew that was inaccurately sold as organic.