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Minnesota farmer charged with $46 million organic grain fraud scheme

Posted at 12:49 PM, Jul 13, 2022

MINNEAPOLIS — A Minnesota man who federal prosecutors have accused of making $46 million by passing off non-GMO grains as organic has been charged.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Minnesota announced Monday that James Clayton Wolf was indicted on three counts of wire fraud.

According to prosecutors and court documents, between 2014 and 2020, the 64-year-old purchased chemically treated corn and soybeans from a grain seller and then sold them as organic products to grain purchasers.

Prosecutors said that the Cottonwood County farmer does not have a legally required grain buyer’s license.

"As part of his scheme, Wolf also grew conventionally farmed crops using chemical fertilizers and pesticides, in violation of organic farming standards," prosecutors said. "Wolf provided grain purchasers with copies of his National Organics Program certification but withheld the material fact that the grains were not organically farmed."

Officials said that Wolf is scheduled to appear in federal court on July 22.