Two cents on the dollar – that’s how much farmers seeking compensation in a grain fraud case in northeast Missouri can expect to get, for now. At an administrative hearing held Friday in Jefferson City, the 180 farmers who filed claims were given the chance to ask questions related to their claims against T.J. Gieseker Farms and Trucking in Martinsburg which totaled more than $27 Million. The Missouri Department of Agriculture says grain, grain related assets and an irrevocable letter of credit it took control of in February totaled only about a half-Million dollars. Department Director Jon Hagler says it’s unfortunate, “Our hearts at the Department of Agriculture certainly go out to families. Anytime you have cases of alleged fraud and situations such as this where farm families are impacted, entire communities are impacted. That’s why it’s an important hearing.”Attorney Dan Erdel of Mexico, Missouri, represents about 140 of the claimants. He says a civil lawsuit might be filed against not only Gieseker, but others who might be culpable. “We will do some investigation on behalf of them and see if there’s a possibility that there may be other parties involved that should be paying back the farmers for the grain that was sold.” Erdel says that means grain elevators and companies that Gieseker may have sold grain to. Anyone and everyone.”
Cathy Gieseker faces 12 felony state charges and has been indicted by a federal grand jury on multiple counts of fraud.
(audio from Missourinet)