A farmer who masterminded a $142 million organic-food scam – and spent his ill-gotten gains on escorts and gambling in Las Vegas – killed himself after being sentenced to 10 years in prison, according to reports.
Randy Constant, 61, was found dead in a vehicle inside the garage at his home in Chillicothe, Missouri, on Monday evening, The Associated Press said.
Livingston County Coroner Scott Lindley determined that Constant died of carbon monoxide poisoning and ruled that he committed suicide, the AP said.
Constant was sentenced Friday for wire fraud in a case that federal prosecutors dubbed the “Field of Schemes,” but he was allowed to remain free on bond while the US Bureau of Prisons decided where he would serve his time.
Constant, who owned an Iowa-based grain brokerage, admitted selling more than 10 millions of bushels of corn and soybeans that he falsely claimed were organically grown between 2010 and 2017.
The grains were primarily used as feed for cattle and chickens to produce meat and eggs that were marketed as organic as premium prices, with federal Judge C.J. Williams saying Constant did “extreme and incalculable damage” to consumers and the nation’s faith in the organic-food industry.
While pulling off the scam, prosecutors said, Constant traveled more than 20 times to Las Vegas, where he stayed in hotels, hired escorts and gambled, according to The Gazette of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
He had sexual relationships with three women who lived in Sin City, prosecutors said, paying two more than $225,000 in corporate funds, even though they did “very little of value” for his companies, The Gazette said.
Banking records show Constant also spent more than $360,000 in Las Vegas, including about $110,000 from a bank account he shared with one of the women.
That spending included payments for breast-augmentation surgery, foreign travel and a vehicle and insurance, The Gazette said.
At Constant’s sentencing, his lawyer, Mark Weinhardt, called him a “real puzzle,” noting the contradiction between his long-running fraud and good deeds that included serving on the school board and donating time and money to local causes and the Methodist church.
Following his suicide, Constant’s wife, Pam Constant, released a statement that said, “I know Randy was deeply ashamed of his conduct. As much as we tried to be there for him…it was clearly just too much for Randy.”
She also said he’d be remembered as “a wonderful father, community leader, tireless volunteer and my beloved husband of 39 years.”
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