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Mo. Gov. Nixon Approves Grain Dealer Requirements

July 13, 2011
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Missouri grain dealers will face more stringent financial requirements under legislation signed by Gov. Jay Nixon in response to the most costly grain fraud scheme in state history, according to the Associated Press. The new Missouri law, effective Aug. 28, will require grain dealers to set aside more money as a safeguard against insolvency, though it will come too late for the roughly 180 farmers who lost about $27 million to a northeast Missouri grain dealer now in federal prison on fraud charges. Cathy Gieseker, of Martinsburg, received a nine-year federal sentence on mail-fraud charges and a concurrent 10-year state sentence for felony charges of theft and filing false statements with state officials. Gieseker and her husband, Timothy, ran T.J. Gieseker Farms and Trucking in Martinsburg. She continued the business after he died of cancer in 2007. Prosecutors say Gieseker defrauded farmers by telling them she had contracts with Archer Daniels Midland Co. that would provide returns of 50-100 percent above market. But she had no such deal. Instead, Gieseker sold the grain at spot prices. To keep the scheme going, she would occasionally pay inflated returns to some farmers as false evidence that she really had a contract, prosecutors said. Some farmers started to worry as Gieseker kept putting off their payments, and eventually turned to regulators with the state Agriculture Department. An audit revealed financial irregularities in her firm that prosecutors claim date back to 2002.

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