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Thousands possibly defrauded in fake organic grain scheme

Dec 28, 2018 at 07:19 AM CST
CEDAR RAPIDS — Federal prosecutors say thousands of businesses and individuals across the country potentially fell victim to a large-scale scheme in which soybeans and corn were falsely sold nationwide as “organic.” According to documents filed over the past week by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Cedar Rapids, Missouri businessman Randy Constant and three associates defrauded “potentially tens of thousands of victims” when the victims “purchased a product for which they likely paid a premium, but received a product that was not what they thought it would be, namely an actually organic product.” Constant, 61, of Chillicothe, Mo., pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of wire fraud in U.S. District Court and faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Also, Constant may be required to forfeit “any property, real or personal, which constitutes or is derived from proceeds traceable to the offense,” court documents stated