Four Alabama Farmers Co-Op employees face federal indictments for falsifying harvest load weights

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Alabama Farmers Cooperative in Decatur, AL (Photo: Al Whitaker, WHNT News 19)

DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) – A federal grand jury Wednesday indicted four employees of a north Alabama farmer’s cooperative for making false statements to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance, of the Northern District of Alabama in Birmingham.

The release says in separate indictments filed in U.S. District Court, the grand jury charged Aaron Blake Williams, 25, and Tyler Thomas Glaze, 26, both of Decatur, James Edward Toon Jr., 35, of Elkmont, and Joshua Wayne Holt, 32, of Hartselle, with falsifying certifications of harvest load weights from August 2009 to March 2013 at the Alabama Farmer’s Cooperative in Decatur.

WHNT News 19 went to the Alabama Farmers Cooperative in Decatur shortly after receiving the release however officers had closed for the day, no one was available to comment on the indictments. A security guard confirmed management had left for the day.

The maximum penalty for making false statements to the government is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The Secret Service and USDA, OIG, investigated the case, which Assistant U.S. Attorney David H. Estes is prosecuting.

U.S. Secret Service Special Agent in Charge Craig Caldwell and U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General-Investigations, Special Agent in Charge Karen Wilcox-Citizen were also credited in the release.

1 Comment

  • Jim

    Ok explain to me what “falsifying certifications of harvest load weights” means? I understand they put a false number down, but what did they gain by doing so? Were farmers cheated on what they brought in or paid for more than they brought in? What was the scam about? There had to be some reason for it. I would hope there is a followup to this..

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