Or­ganic food fraud leader gets 10-year term

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - Stay Connected -

A judge on Fri­day sen­tenced the mas­ter­mind of the largest known or­ganic food fraud scheme in U.S. his­tory to 10 years in prison, say­ing he cheated thou­sands of cus­tomers into buy­ing prod­ucts they didn’t want.

U.S. Dis­trict Judge C.J. Wil­liams said Randy Con­stant or­ches­trated a mas­sive fraud that did “in­cal­cu­la­ble dam­age” to con­sumers and shook pub­lic con­fi­dence in the na­tion’s or­ganic food in­dus­try.

Wil­liams said that, be­tween 2010 and 2017, con­sumers na­tion­wide were fooled into pay­ing ex­tra to buy prod­ucts that they be­lieved were bet­ter for the en­vi­ron­ment and their own health. In­stead, they un­wit­tingly pur­chased food that re­lied on the use of chem­i­cal pes­ti­cides to grow crops, that they op­posed.

“Thou­sands upon thou­sands of con­sumers paid for prod­ucts they did not get and paid for prod­ucts they did not want,” Wil­liams said. “This has caused in­cal­cu­la­ble dam­age to the con­fi­dence the Amer­i­can pub­lic has in or­ganic prod­ucts.”

Wil­liams said the scam harmed other or­ganic farm­ers who were play­ing by the rules but could not com­pete with the low prices of­fered by Con­stant’s Iowa-based grain bro­ker­age, and mid­dle­men who un­know­ingly pur­chased and mar­keted tainted or­ganic grain.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.