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Farmer Sentenced in Organic Fraud Case Dies by Suicide
USAgNet - 08/21/2019

A Missouri man sentenced last week in what prosecutors called a "Field of Schemes" -- racking up over $142 million in sales for passing off grains as organic when most were not -- died by suicide Monday, according to a Missouri coroner.

Randy Constant, 61, died in his garage from carbon monoxide poisoning about 5:20 p.m. Monday at his home in Chillicothe, Mo., Livingston County coroner Scott Lindley said Tuesday. His death was ruled a suicide, Lindley said.

The Gazette reports that Constant was allowed to self-report to a designated prison when notified by the U.S. Marshal's Service to start serving his 10-year sentence.

Constant pleaded guilty last December to one count of wire fraud. He admitted the scheme involved about $142.4 million in grain sales, the vast majority of which were fraudulent.

Constant also admitted he misled customers into thinking they were buying certified organic grain when the grain he was selling from 2010 to 2017 was not organic, according to court documents. He told customers the grain was from certified organic fields in Nebraska and Missouri, but they were not.

Federal prosecutors said he made many of the sales through a brokerage called Jericho Solutions, which he owned in Ossian in Winneshiek County.

As part of the plea, Constant agreed to forfeit $128.2 million in proceeds from the scheme.

Overall, from 2010 to 2017, Constant sold over 11 million bushels of grain, over 90 percent of which were falsely marketed as organic.\

Constant was also ordered, during sentencing to pay $205,604 in restitution to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, according to court documents.

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