July 20, 2009
Jefferson City, Mo. - Attorney General Chris Koster today charged Cathy Gieseker with 12 felony counts for deceiving farmers out of $30 million and misleading state authorities to cover up her crimes. Gieseker was arrested on a warrant for these charges and a federal indictment, following an investigation by the Missouri Department of Agriculture and the Attorney General's office.
According to Koster, Gieseker sold grain for farmers through her two companies, T.J. Gieseker Farms and Trucking and T.J. Gieseker Trucking LLC, both of Martinsburg. The state alleges that Gieseker routinely promised farmers she could sell their grain at an amount higher than the going rate, or that she could sell their grain under a delayed price and deferred payment contract. In fact, in numerous instances Gieseker sold the grain at the going rate, and then did not pay the farmer.
"Cathy Gieseker is charged with a scheme that cheated farmers out of their hard-earned money," Koster said. "While we prosecute Ms. Gieseker we will continue to work with the Missouri Department of Agriculture and federal authorities to ensure all assets are seized and every possible dollar is used to compensate farmers she defrauded in this scheme."
Koster's charges against Gieseker include:
The Attorney General's office and the Department of Agriculture have been working together in the investigation of Cathy Gieseker since a routine audit by the agriculture department in February showed discrepancies in Gieseker's financial records. The Attorney General obtained an order at that time allowing the Department of Agriculture to take over the grain operations of the companies, and the Attorney General then launched a criminal investigation with the Audrain County Prosecuting Attorney's Office and federal authorities.
The charge against the defendant is merely an accusation and, as in all criminal cases, the defendant is presumed innocent until or unless proved guilty in a court of law.