Minnesota Farmer Charged in $46 Million Organic Farm Fraud Scheme
Minneapolis (KROC-AM News) - A Minnesota man has been charged with defrauding grain purchasers by selling grains falsely labeled as organic.
Prosecutors say 64-year-old James Wolf of Jeffers, a certified organic farmer, defrauded grain purchasers by selling them non-GMO grains falsely represented as organic between 2014 and 2020. Wolf, who did not hold a legally required grain buyer’s license, repeatedly purchased non-organic corn and soybeans from a grain seller and resold the grain as an organic product.
Court documents say Wolf also grew conventionally farmed crops using chemical fertilizers and pesticides, in violation of organic farming standards. Wolf provided grain purchasers with copies of his National Organic Program certification but withheld that the grains were not organically farmed.
Wolf received more than $46 million in payments from grain buyers.
He has been charged with three counts of wire fraud and will make his initial court appearance on July 22nd.