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Co-op Officer Pleads Guilty to Grain-Blending Scheme

Calvin Diehl entered his plea to one count of conspiracy to defraud the U.S.

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A former officer at a Sioux Center, IA, ag cooperative has pleaded guilty to taking part in a grain-blending scheme and filing false reports to conceal it, the Sioux City Journal reports.

Calvin Diehl entered his plea Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Sioux City to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States.

He and Kenneth Ehrp are charged with directing Farmers Cooperative Society workers from 2011 to 2017 to layer higher-valued soybeans over oats in grain bins and in trucks and then conceal the practice from customers and U.S. Department of Agriculture inspectors in order to deceive them about the quality and quantity of the grain they were selling and storing.

Ehrp faces additional charges of conspiracy, prohibited grain practice and two counts of making false statements. He pleaded not guilty on June 2.

He is accused of causing the co-op’s controller to make a false report to a lender that overstated and overvalued the facility’s inventory in order to influence a loan.

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