Minnesota Farmers Charged with Fraud in $46 Million Scheme
MINNEAPOLIS (WJON News) -- Two southern Minnesota organic farmers are facing federal fraud charges.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office says 65-year-old James Wolf and 45-year-old Adam Olson of Cottonwood County have been charged for their roles in a $46 million organic grain fraud scheme.
Court records show Wolf, a certified organic farmer, also grew crops in a conventional manner using chemical pesticides and fertilizers. According to the documents, between 2014 and 2021, Wolf allegedly sold those crops to buyers without disclosing the truth about their growing environment.
Records show Wolf supplied the buyers with a copy of his National Organics Program certification despite the fact that the way in which the crops were grown violated organic farming standards.
According to the documents, Olson, who is also a certified organic farmer, helped Wolf sell the non-GMO grains under false pretenses after Wolf’s certification was revoked in 2020.
Both men are charged with three counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy. Wolf was first indicted in July 2022, while Olson is expected to make his first appearance in court on January 26th.