Lawyer: Missouri farmer was leader of organic fraud scheme

Fresh cob of ripe corn on green field at sunset

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – A defense lawyer says three Nebraska farmers charged in an organic grain fraud scheme were working under a Missouri businessman who marketed ordinary corn and soybeans as organic.

Tom Brennan, James Brennan and Michael Potter are expected to appear Friday afternoon in federal court in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to plead guilty to wire fraud.

Prosecutors say each received $2.5 million from 2010 to 2017 from sales of corn and soybeans falsely marketed as certified organic.

Potter’s attorney Clarence Mock says the scheme was led by Randy Constant, president of Jericho Solutions, Inc., who bought and sold their crops.

Constant, of Chillicothe, Missouri, hasn’t been charged but the investigation is ongoing. Court documents refer to the owner of a company initialed “J.S.” as a co-conspirator.

Constant didn’t immediately return phone messages.

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