Jul 14, 2022

Minnesota Farmer Charged with $46M Organic Grain Sales Fraud

James Clayton Wolf was charged in federal court with felony wire fraud

A Jeffers, MN, farmer has been indicted for defrauding grain purchasers by selling non-GMO grains falsely labeled as organic.

According to court documents, between 2014 and 2020, James Clayton Wolf, 64, a certified organic farmer, engaged in a scheme to defraud grain purchasers by selling them non-GMO grains falsely represented as organic.

Wolf, who did not hold a legally required grain buyer’s license, repeatedly purchased non-organic corn and soybeans from a grain seller and resold the grain as organic product.

As part of his scheme, Wolf also grew conventionally farmed crops using chemical fertilizers and pesticides, in violation of organic farming standards.

Wolf provided grain purchasers with copies of his National Organics Program certification but withheld the material fact that the grains were not organically farmed.

The indictment, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, stated Wolf falsely sold non-GMO corn and soybeans as organic.

The indictment alleges Wolf sold grain without a grain-buyer's license. In addition, the indictment alleges Wolf repeatedly purchased non-organic corn and soybeans from a grain seller and resold the grain as organic from 2014 to 2020.

As a result of his scheme, Wolf received more than $46 million from grain buyers.

Wolf is charged with three counts of wire fraud and will make his initial court appearance on July 22, 2022.

Lisa Cleaver

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