Oregon farmer charged in organic foods scam
Natural Resource News Note:
Harold Chase has been accused of buying more than two thousand tons of conventional corn and then re-selling it as organic corn, making himself nearly 200,000 extra dollars. Chase used to run a (genuine) organic farm outside Springfield; that company was dissolved in July of this year. The alleged scam, however, took place two years ago, between Nov. 2009 and May 2010. Chase purchased 2,253 tons of conventional corn from dealers in Idaho and Eastern Washington. He then supervised the “transloading” of the corn—basically, unloading it from one set of trucks into a different set.
The government charges this transloading was done to conceal the corn’s true origin before Chase re-sold it to Eugene-based Grain Millers. Chase could be facing up to twenty years in prison; his court date is December 6 at the U.S. District Court in Eugene.
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