Judge’s disagreement with sentence ends farmer’s plea deal

A judge has rejected a sentencing deal that carried a five-year cap for fraud committed by a farmer in southwestern Michigan. Judge Paul Maloney says it doesn’t reflect the “seriousness” of the crime. Mike Stamp had pleaded guilty to conspiracy in a scheme to defraud a government crop insurance program and lenders in Van Buren County. MLive.com reports that Stamp has withdrawn his guilty plea, and a fall trial has been scheduled in Kalamazoo federal court. Stamp’s wife, Melissa Stamp, pleaded guilty to knowing about the fraud but not reporting it.    (AP)

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  1. Americans have to realize that “small farmers” rarely exist in America. Farms have been co-opted into agra-businesses, owned by giant and often multi-national corporations. Which means a lot of half-truths, asset inflation, money-shifting, loan-sharking, monopolies, etc. or as we were once taught to call it “outright lies”.

    Boersen Farms, Zeeland, MI acquired the assets of the former Stamp Farms LLC out of bankruptcy at auction for $22.8 million in 2013, doubling the amount of land it farmed and leased across Michigan, Ohio and Indiana.
    They in turn are being sued by Helena Agri-Enterprises, a Collierville, Tenn., company that describes itself as an “agronomic solutions provider.” Helena Agri-Enterprises’s annual revenues are over $500 million.
    About 70% of Helena’s revenue was from crop protection chemicals, and new biotechnologies – aka a chemical company.
    And what a surprise, lawsuits and counter-lawsuits are standard practice between the warring chemical companies and the multi-national companies that own them. Bayer, a German pharmaceutical company, bought Monsanto for $66 billion. Dupont (Pioneer’s parent company) is worth $130 billion.

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