MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, US — Two men have been charged in a superseding indictment with conspiring to defraud grain purchasers out of more than $46 million by selling non-GMO grains falsely labeled as organic, the US Attorney’s Office District of Minnesota said.
According to court documents, James Clayton Wolf, 65, a certified organic farmer, engaged in a scheme to defraud grain purchasers by selling them non-GMO grains falsely represented as organic between 2014 and 2021.
The charges allege that as part of his scheme, Wolf also grew conventionally farmed crops using chemical fertilizers and pesticides, in violation of organic farming standards, and provided grain purchasers with copies of his National Organics Program certification but withheld that the grains were not organically farmed.
The superseding indictment charges that after Wolf’s organic farming certification was revoked in 2020, Adam Clifford Olson, 45, also a certified organic farmer, helped Wolf sell non-GMO crops falsely described as organic. The superseding indictment charges Wolf and Olson with three counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy.
Wolf, who was charged in the first indictment, made his initial appearance in US District Court on July 22, 2022, while Olson is scheduled to make his initial appearance on Jan. 26, 2023.This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the US Department of Agriculture Office of the Inspector General, the FBI, and US Marshals Service, with assistance from the Cottonwood County, Minnesota, Sheriff’s Office.