MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, US — James C. Wolf, a certified organic farmer from Jeffers, Minnesota, US, has been charged with three counts of wire fraud as part of his role in defrauding grain purchasers by selling non-GMO grains falsely labeled as organic, according to the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota.
According to court documents, between 2014 and 2020, Wolf 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, the documents said.
The documents also noted that Wolf, as part of his scheme, grew conventionally farmed crops using chemical fertilizers and pesticides, in violation of organic farming standards. He then gave grain purchasers copies of his National Organics Program certification but withheld the material fact that the grains were not organically farmed.
As a result of his fraud scheme, Wolf received more than $46 million in payments from grain buyers, according to the US Attorney’s Office.
Wolf is scheduled to make his initial appearance in US District Court before Magistrate Judge David T. Schultz on July 22.