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Seed company pleads guilty to role in fraud scheme

October 5, 2021 -  By

ProSeeds Marketing of Jefferson, Ore., pleaded guilty to a count of the concealing of a felony in defrauding Jacklin Seed Co., a subsidiary of J.R. Simplot Co.

The Statesman Journal reports ProSeeds contracted with Jacklin Seed Co. for the purchase of grass seed. These contracts were negotiated under the supervision of Christopher Claypool, Jacklin’s general manager.

Claypool was convicted of wire fraud and money laundering earlier this year and was sentenced to three years in prison.

Claypool incorporated an LLC called Green Pyramid to pose as an independent grass seed broker and would collect payment of fraudulent commissions of overseas sales, according to The Statesman Journal.

ProSeeds also booked sales diverted from Jacklin with markups and then kicked back the bulk of the markups to Claypool.

Court records show ProSeeds booked 12 diverted and bogus sales, which generated more than $474,000 in markups on Jacklin seed. ProSeeds retained more than $78,000 in revenue from the transactions.

The Statesman Journal said the company faces five years’ probation and a $500,000 fine.

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