Dec 07, 2022

Grain company ex-CEO charged with fraud

If convicted, John R. Coleman would face up to 180 years in prison.

The former leader of a Mississippi grain storage and processing company has been indicted on federal and state charges, more than a year after the company filed for bankruptcy, according to an AP report.

John R. Coleman, 46, of Greenwood, Mississippi, the former CEO of Express Grain Terminals, LLC was charged with five counts of making false representations to defraud government and one count of false pretenses, said U.S. Attorney Clay Joyner and Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch in a statement.

A federal grand jury indicted Coleman on charges of defrauding farmers, banks and the Mississippi Department of Agriculture.

According to the Greenwood Commonwealth, Coleman was arrested Tuesday morning by agents with the state Attorney General’s Office and brought to the Leflore County Jail, where he immediately posted bond and was released.

If convicted on the federal charges, Coleman would face up to 180 years in prison.

Details of the case

Federal court documents say that from June 2018 to October 2022, Coleman altered Express Grain’s audited financial statements to receive a state warehouse license and lied about the amount of debt he owed on corn, wheat, soybeans or other crops held at the facility.

The federal indictment said farmers delivered grain to Express Grain throughout the 2021 harvest season but did not receive payment.

The indictment said Express Grain sent an email to customers on September 28, 2021 - approved by Coleman - stating the company was in good financial shape.

The next day, Express Grain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. At the time, Express Grain owed $70 million in outstanding loans to UMB Bank in Kansas City, Missouri.

Farmer class action lawsuit in November 2021

In November 2021, a group of Mississippi Delta farmers sued UMB Bank in federal court after the bank seized their fall harvests as collateral from Express Grain.

At the time, the Clarion Ledger reported the farmers, in a class action lawsuit, claimed UMB Bank knew Express Grain was teetering on financial collapse and propped the company up through the fall soybean and corn harvest until it could fill its silos at the end of September.

Once the silos were full, the bank called the approximately $70 million in loans owed by Express Grain, forcing it to offer up the harvested grain as collateral, according to the complaint filed November 8 in U.S. District Court.

The suit was settled earlier this year, with participating farmers claiming a share of $9 million.

Lisa Cleaver

Sponsored Items

Recently Added to Buyer's Guide

Manufactured Canoe Liner

  • Durable urethane molded around rugged steel plate to absorb impact and abrasion
  • Protective plate integrated directly into urethane liner

Utility Monitor

  • Plant-wide utility consumption analysis helps identify anomalies
  • Gain real-time analytics and monitoring


  • First-of-its-kind quantitative LFD
  • Rapid and reliable solution for detecting predominant allergen, safety and grain process ability concerns


  • Enables commercial grain facilities to monitor bins to protect quality of stored grain
  • Digital cable technology checks grain temperature and moisture, automatically activating fans to help prevent out-of-condition issues

Silver-Sweet QL Series Bucket Elevators

  • Convey bulk materials vertically
  • 400 to 11,925 bushel/hour capacities

TUBO Push Conveyor

  • Now with 8-inch tube for higher capacity throughput, up to 43 tons/hour
  • System transports products gently over distances from 165 to 230 feet in all directions


Marketwatch: Mar, 29

US Corn Price Idx: ZCPAUS.CM

open: 6.5192
high: 6.5567
low: 6.5038
close: 6.5313

US Soybean Price Idx: ZSPAUS.CM

open: 14.1991
high: 14.3893
low: 14.1566
close: 14.3578

US Hard Red Winter Wheat Price Idx: KEPAUS.CM

open: 8.2902
high: 8.3652
low: 8.2527
close: 8.3587

US Soft Red Winter Wheat Price Idx: ZWPAUS.CM

open: 6.4098
high: 6.4923
low: 6.3998
close: 6.4423