Organic grain fraud farmer sentenced to two years in prison

A Missouri man has become the fifth farmer to be sentenced to a prison term in a $142m scam involving corn and soybeans fraudulently passed off as organic.

John Burton has received a 22-month term for his part in the so-called “Field of Schemes” fraud, which centred around non-organic corn and soy that he grew and knowingly passed on to ringleader Randy Constant.

Constant – who was sentenced to 122 months earlier this year but committed suicide in custody in August – sold on the produce using falsified organic certificates.

Burton also worked directly for Constant, spraying his fields with chemicals and fertilizers that are not allowed to be used on organic growing areas.

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