Missouri's Attorney General and U.S. Attorneys have handed down felony indictments against Cathy M. Gieseker for deceiving farmers and misleading state authorities. Gieseker operated a grain trucking company known as T.J. Gieseker Farms and Trucking in Martinsburg, Mo. Officials state that Gieseker stole $30 million to $50 million from nearly 180 grain producers.

"MO-AG deplores the fraud that has allegedly occurred," commented Steve Taylor, Executive Director of the Missouri Agribusiness Association (MO-AG). Taylor continued, "According to these indictments, Gieseker is the 'Bernie Madoff of Missouri Agriculture' and ran the biggest Ponzi scheme we have ever seen."

At its Summer Membership Meeting (July 22-24; Country Club Hotel; Lake Ozark, Mo.) MO-AG will focus on grain insolvencies and prevention issues. Jon Hagler, Missouri Department of Agriculture Director, and Loyd Wilson, Director of MDA's Enforcement Division, will be participating in these discussions. For more information on the MO-AG Summer Membership Meeting, please call the MO-AG offices at 573-636-6130.

"These indictments are very unfortunate and extremely unusual. This is not a grain dealer gone insolvent, but rather a grain dealer gone criminal. Most grain dealers are established operations, good community citizens, and utilize good business practices," Taylor asserted. "I appreciate the efforts of the Missouri Department of Agriculture and look forward to continuting our work with the cepartment to prevent criminal activities in the grain industry from ever happening in the future."

The Missouri Agribusiness Association (MO-AG) is a trade association whose membership includes agricultural wholesalers and retailers doing business directly with grain producers, as well as licensed grain dealers helping Missouri's grain producers market their grain.