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Ex-North Dakota grain trader signs plea deal in fraud scheme

Jun 18, 2019 at 01:15 PM CST

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A former North Dakota grain trader who became involved in the business shortly out of high school has signed a plea agreement on accusations he ran a multimillion dollar fraud scheme, according to federal court documents unsealed Monday. Authorities say Hunter Hanson, of Leeds, bilked about 60 farmers, elevators and commodity brokers in North Dakota, Minnesota and Canada. The deal calls for Hanson, 22, to plead guilty to wire fraud and money laundering and play back about $11.4 million. The North Dakota Public Service Commission shut down Hanson’s Devils Lake-based businesses last year after it received multiple complaints from farmers and others. The case led state lawmakers, upset that Hanson received a license when he allegedly had no grain marketing training or experience, to transfer grain regulatory authority from the PSC to the state Agriculture Department.