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Published February 25, 2010, 08:47 AM

Missouri grain dealer gets 9 years in fraud case

ST. LOUIS — A Missouri woman has been sentenced to nine years in federal prison for a grain fraud scheme that bilked farmers out of at least $27 million.

By: Associated Press,

ST. LOUIS — A Missouri woman has been sentenced to nine years in federal prison for a grain fraud scheme that bilked farmers out of at least $27 million.

Cathy Gieseker of Martinsburg was sentenced Thursday in federal court in St. Louis. She pleaded guilty to one felony count of mail fraud in November.

U.S. District Judge Charles Shaw ordered Gieseker to pay restitution to all of the victims, though it wasn’t clear how much money she had available.

Gieseker used a Ponzi scheme to defraud 179 farmers out of at least $27 million in proceeds from grain sales she made on their behalf. The scheme began in 2002 and collapsed last February. Farmers were left with neither grain nor payment.

Gieseker still faces state charges.

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