Randy Constant, 61, formerly of Chillicothe, has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for his part in a $142 million grain fraud scheme that involved farmers from Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa.
The former school board member was sentenced in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Friday morning.
In December 2018 Constant plead guilty to wire fraud, in what prosecutors and the judge called the largest known organic food fraud scheme in U.S. history.
Three other farmers were also sentenced due to the crimes. however, Constant's sentence was the longest, as the judge, U.S. District Judge C.J. Williams said Constant was the mastermind in the scheme which shook American's confidence in organic products, according to various news reports, including one from the Washington Post.
Michael Potter, 41, was sentenced to two years; James Brennan, 41, was sentenced to one year and eight months and his father, 71-year-old Tom Brennan was sentenced to three months in federal prison. The three men are all from Overton, Nebraska.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Morfitt said Constant admitted the grain fraud scheme topped the $142 million. Constant misled customers into thinking they were buying certified organic grain when it was not organic and told them that the grain he was selling was being grown on certified organic fields in Nebraska and Missouri, when in fact Constant knew the fields were being sprayed with unauthorized substances. The crimes date back to 2010.
When Constant plead in December, he agreed to forfeit about $128 million in proceeds from the fraudulent scheme.