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Farm wins judgment against ND grain trader

FARGO, N.D. — A judge has ruled against Hunter Hanson in one of the cases filed against the grain trader who was shut down by the state of North Dakota last year.

Hanson, 21, said he'd handled some $23 million in transactions in just a couple of years doing business as Midwest Grain Trading and NoDak Grain, both based in Devils Lake, N.D. But when financial problems mounted last year, it prompted the North Dakota Public Service Commission to shut down his businesses and drove some of those he owed money to file civil suits against him.

E Y Inc. — a Jud, N.D., farm and ranch, whose agent is Emmy Huber — on Feb. 28, received a $64,888.68 judgment against Hanson in Northeast District Court in Benson County. The judgment comes with a standard 8.5 percent interest. The farm was represented by Nathan Gibbens of Cando, N.D.

Hanson's trading practices also launched a criminal case.

A North Central District judge in Stanley, N.D., on April 4 will hold a pre-trial conference on Hanson's felony charges for writing checks with non-sufficient funds.

In a preliminary hearing on Feb. 7, the judge found sufficient evidence that a crime was committed and that Hanson had committed it. Hanson pleaded not guilty to a charge related to writing a $94,480.41 check to United Quality Cooperative based in Mountrail County. Hanson's attorney in the case is Lucas Wynn of Fargo.

Other pending civil cases include:

• United Quality Cooperative also has a civil case in North Central District Court in Mountrail County filed Jan 17. The suit claims Hanson failed to pay $347,939.75 after receiving possession of durum and yellow peas. The company is being represented by Zachary Boettner in Grand Forks, N.D.

• Dillon Dione, Rolette, N.D., served a civil case against Hanson in Northeast District Court in Benson County. Dione's lawyer is J. Bruce Gibbens, of Cando, who declined to discuss the case. Amounts sought in the case were not immediately available.

There also are so far more than $5 million in claims filed with the PSC against Hanson's businesses. The PSC has been appointed trustee in his insolvency.

Hanson also owes money to the company that rented him an apartment in West Fargo.

Hanson, 21, formerly of Leeds, N.D., had claimed in some legal documents he had a West Fargo, N.D., address.

East Central District Judicial Referee Susan Solheim presided over a March 1 hearing in Fargo in which she allowed EagleRidge Property Management LLC of Fargo to evict Hanson from an apartment in West Fargo.

Property manager Rachel Olson testified that Hanson had failed to pay either his February or March rent at $1,425 a month. Solheim approved a judgment against Hanson of $3,618.50, including legal fees for EagleRidge.