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Satanica

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https://www.fcc-fac.ca/en/ag-knowledge/news/details.2018.Dec.db6dcad19f6d405ea331ca4be38fd12f.html
IOWA CITY, Iowa - A Missouri farmer and businessman ripped off consumers nationwide by falsely marketing more than $140 million worth of corn, soybeans and wheat as certified organic grains, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.

The long-running fraud scheme outlined in court documents by prosecutors in Iowa is one of the largest uncovered in the fast-growing organic farming industry. The victims included food companies and their customers who paid higher prices because they thought they were buying grains that had been grown using environmentally sustainable practices.

The alleged leader of the scheme was identified as Randy Constant of Chillicothe, Missouri, who was charged with one count of wire fraud. He is expected to plead guilty during a hearing that is scheduled at the federal courthouse in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Thursday.

The charging document calls on Constant to forfeit $128 million to the government along with his interest in 70 pieces of farm machinery and equipment. His attorney, Mark Weinhardt, didn't immediately return a phone message seeking comment.

Industry watchdog Mark Kastel called the scale of the fraud "jaw-dropping" and probably the largest ever documented involving U.S. farmers. He said the case points to weak oversight of the organic industry by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
[....]
Three Nebraska farmers who sold their crops to Constant pleaded guilty in October to their roles in the scheme and are awaiting sentencing. One of their attorneys has said that Constant recruited them and that they turned a blind eye to his false marketing practices because they reaped higher profits by passing their grains off as organic.

Constant was the owner of Organic Land Management, which held USDA certifications to grow organic corn and soybeans on farms in Missouri and Nebraska. He was also the owner of Jericho Solutions, which operated in Ossian, Iowa, and sold and marketed grain labeled as organic to customers nationwide.

To be certified organic, grains must be grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge and other substances that can be harmful to the environment. Organic farmers must go through a roughly three-year process to achieve certified status, which includes reviews by a USDA-accredited agent and on-site inspections.

Constant told customers his grain was certified organic because some of it had been grown on his farms in Missouri and Nebraska. But the charging document alleges that at least 90 per cent of the grain being sold was non-organic grain that he either grew himself elsewhere or bought from other farmers.

Constant was aware that farmers he purchased from used unapproved substances, including pesticides and nitrogen, to grow their crops, the document says.

Constant sold more than $142.4 million worth of falsely marketed organic grain to at least 10 customers nationwide between 2010 and mid-2017, when he voluntarily surrendered a certificate to operate in the USDA's National Organic Program. The scheme allegedly dates back to at least 2004, but additional sales figures weren't available.
 

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Sue sue

Take 6
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Food fraud is a thing. When FSMA was enacted that was one of the main risks assessment food companies had to complete
 

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Satanica

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[....]
Police officers found Randy Constant dead in a vehicle in his garage at his home in Chillicothe, Missouri on Monday evening, hours after federal investigators held a news conference in Iowa to highlight the prison sentence he had received. The county coroner, Scott Lindley, said he concluded that Constant died from carbon monoxide poisoning.

“He took his own life,” said Lindley, adding that the cause of death was confirmed Tuesday by a post-mortem examination at the University of Missouri Medical Center.

A federal judge sentenced Constant at a hearing on Friday for leading what prosecutors dubbed the “Field of Schemes fraud.” But he granted Constant the ability to self-report to prison in the coming weeks, after the Bureau of Prisons decided where to place him.
[....]
Prosecutors did not seek their immediate detention in federal custody, which is routine for defendants who are not seen as dangerous or flight risks.

Williams gave all four the option of entering custody immediately, surrendering in two weeks to a regional U.S. Marshals office, or self-reporting to the prison designated by the bureau of prisons. All four chose the final option, which typically might give a defendant three to six more weeks of freedom before incarceration. Williams warned they would have to pay their own way and show up on time or face potential legal consequences.

Constant had been free on bond since pleading guilty to wire fraud last December, and had cooperated with investigators since 2017. He apologized to his victims and his family and appeared to be in decent spirits during Friday’s hearing, smiling at times and thanking his lawyer Mark Weinhardt.
[....]
Federal prosecutors had introduced evidence that Constant was repeatedly traveling to Las Vegas during the scheme, where he gambled and spent heavily to support three women with whom he had sexual relationships.

Constant’s death came as authorities publicized his prison term, which they said would deter other farmers from defrauding the National Organic Program.

“Randy Constant and his co-conspirators lied to the American public and cheated thousands of consumers,” U.S. Attorney Peter E. Deegan Jr. said in a statement. “For years, Constant put personal greed and self-interest above all else.”
 

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OK so this guy and his accomplices are dicks. Compared to the vast majority of articles on here this is hardly shocking or disturbing. So some people ate non organic food which they eat very frequently despite their best efforts not too. Granted I find the whole organic movement a bit of a crock so maybe I am just too much of a cynic....
 

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Muriel Schwenck

polyracial ecosexual
Bold Member!
I always figured there is plenty of this kind of fraud at many levels in the organic food industry. If I want organic I will grow my own. I have manure-a-plenty.
 
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Norcal Skim

Trusted Member
Federal prosecutors had introduced evidence that Constant was repeatedly traveling to Las Vegas during the scheme, where he gambled and spent heavily to support three women with whom he had sexual relationships.
Constant's defense: It was a typo, it was supposed to say ORGASMIC grains!
 

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Craygor

Norse American
Bold Member!
He took his own life instead of going to a minimum security prison for a 10 year sentence? What bullshit, its fucking minimum security and only would have been gone for 8 years, that's as easy as taking a shit. If I got his sentence I would thought 'welp, might as well write that book I've been meaning too, make my workouts be boss, and take those correspondence courses for that degree I should have got years ago ". Fucking jackass didn't know the gift he was handed.
 

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Satanica

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He had already lost everything he had, so he would've had nothing to go back to. I certainly don't feel sorry about it.
 

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