SIOUX CITY, IOWA, U.S. — Two former cooperative officers in Iowa have been indicted on federal charges of conspiracy to commit fraud for blending oats and soybeans and then making false statements to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, KCAU reported.
Kenneth Ehrp and Calvin Diehl worked at a co-op in Sioux Center, Iowa, U.S., according to a Dec. 19 indictment filed in the U.S. District Court in Sioux City. Ehrp was the general manager and Diehl was the assistant general manager.
They are accused of blending oats into soybeans and hiding it from USDA inspectors from 2011 to April 2017. At the time, soybeans were more valuable than oats, KCAU said.
According to documents, they told employees to layer soybeans on top of oats in storage bins and in trucks. Diehl allegedly told a worker to “blend oats at all times.”
Diehl also allegedly lied about the amount oats at the co-op and both he and Ehrp caused the cooperative’s controller to make a false statement, reporting that the property was overvalued.
Ehrp was charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States and two counts of making false statements. Diehl was charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States and one count of making false statements, KCAU reported.
Ehrp was chief executive officer and general manager of Farmer’s Cooperative Society of Sioux Center until April 28, 2017. He is suing the co-op for past wages and to maintain his life insurance policies. KCAU said the lawsuit is ongoing.