ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA, US — James Clayton Wolf, 65, a certified organic farmer, pleaded guilty to wire fraud on May 12, admitting he purchased conventionally farmed grains from a supplier and reselling the grains labeled as organic.

According to court documents, between 2013 and 2021, Wolf engaged in a scheme to defraud grain purchasers by selling them non-GMO grains falsely represented as organic. The scheme netted profits of more than $19.6 million, according to the court documents, which they said Wolf used to purchase real estate, vehicles and farm equipment, and investments. As part of the agreement, Wolf will forfeit all the proceeds of the fraud.

In addition to Wolf, Adam Clifford Olson, 45, also a certified organic farmer, has been charged with helping Wolf sell the non-GMO crops falsely described as organic. Olson has not entered a plea in the case.

The case is the result of an investigation conducted by the US Department of Agriculture Office of the Inspector General (USDA-OIG), the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the US Marshals Service, with assistance from the Cottonwood County Sheriff’s Office.