A prominent northern Missouri businessman who was sentenced to federal prison on Friday for a multi-million dollar grain fraud scheme has committed suicide.
61-year-old Randy Constant of Chillicothe also served at one time on the Chillicothe School Board.
He pleaded guilty in federal court in December in Iowa to one count of wire fraud, for a $142 million grain fraud scheme. Federal prosecutors in Cedar Rapids describe it as the “Field of Schemes” fraud, adding that it’s the largest organic fraud case in United States history.
Constant was sentenced to ten years in federal prison on Friday. Livingston County Coroner Scott Lindley tells Missourinet that he was called to a Chillicothe home Monday evening, and that he found Randy Constant dead inside the garage from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Lindley says it’s been ruled a suicide. Chillicothe Police say the investigation was conducted by police, emergency services and by Coroner Lindley.
In federal court on Friday, Constant admitted the grain fraud scheme involved more than $142 million. He also admitted that he misled customers into thinking they were buying certified organic grain when it was not organic.
Federal prosecutors and representatives from the FBI and USDA held a press conference on Monday morning in Cedar Rapids, and criticized Constant’s fraud.
Federal prosecutors say that from 2010 to 2017, he sold more than 11-million bushels of grain, and that more than 90 percent of it was falsely marketed as organic. The U.S. Attorney’s office notes that amount of grain would fill about 3,600 rail cars.
“We are proud to work alongside our law enforcement partners to bring to justice individuals who have so blatantly betrayed the trust of consumers,” FBI acting Special Agent in Charge Mark Green told reporters Monday in Cedar Rapids.
Three Nebraska farmers who were involved in the scheme were also sentenced to federal prison this week.
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