Randy Constant Missouri farmer who masterminded $142 million organic food scam and who’d been sentenced to 10 years jail in ‘Field of Schemes,’ fraud commits suicide.
A farmer found guilty of masterminding a $142 million organic food scam — and who spent his ill-gotten gains on escorts and gambling in Las Vegas — has killed himself after being sentenced to 10 years in prison, according to reports.
Livingston County Coroner Scott Lindley determined Constant dying of carbon monoxide poisoning and ruled his death the result of him having committed suicide.
Constant was sentenced Friday for wire fraud in a case which federal prosecutors dubbed ‘Field of Schemes,’ while being allowed to remain free on bond while the US Bureau of Prisons decided where he would serve his time.
The sentencing follows Constant pleading guilty to one count of wire fraud in a scheme involving about $142.4 million in grain sales, the vast majority of which had been fraudulently passed off as ‘organic.’
White collar, non-violent convictions in federal court, defendants are given the choice to immediately start serving time, report to the U.S. Marshal’s Service at a time they designate or self-report to the prison where they will serve.
Missouri farmer sells 3600 rail cars of grain he’d passed off as organically grown:
Constant, who owned an Iowa-based grain brokerage, admitted selling more than 10 millions of bushels of corn and soybeans that he falsely claimed were organically grown between 2010 and 2017. Prosecutors said that’s enough to fill 3,600 rail cars or 14,375 semi-trailers.
The grains were primarily used as feed for cattle and chickens to produce meat and eggs that were marketed as organic at premium prices, with federal Judge C.J. Williams saying Constant did ‘extreme and incalculable damage’ to consumers and the nation’s faith in the organic food industry.
Prosecutors determined the farmer having sexual relationships with three women who lived in Las Vegas, paying two more than $225,000 in corporate funds, even though they did ‘very little of value’ for his companies, the Gazette said.
The double life of an ‘upstanding’ Missouri farmer:
Banking records show Constant also spent more than $360,000 in Las Vegas, including about $110,000 from a bank account he shared with one of the women.
‘For years, Constant put personal greed and self-interest above all else,’ said a statement from Peter Deegan, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa in Cedar Rapids. ‘In doing so, he and his cohorts victimized thousands of people who were deceived into paying more for a product that they ultimately did not get. They also diluted the organic grain market to the financial disadvantage of organic farmers who were following the law.’
During Constant’s sentencing, his defense attorney, Mark Weinhardt, called him a ‘real puzzle,’ noting the contradiction between his long-running fraud and good deeds that included serving on the school board and donating time and money to local causes and the Methodist church.
Following his suicide, Constant’s wife, Pam Constant, released a statement saying, ‘I know Randy was deeply ashamed of his conduct. As much as we tried to be there for him … it was clearly just too much for Randy.’
She also said he’d be remembered as ‘a wonderful father, community leader, tireless volunteer and my beloved husband of 39 years.’