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Midwest Marketing Solutions

By Staff | Mar 1, 2019

Hennessey pleads guilty

The former manager of a western Minnesota grain elevator pleaded guilty in a swindle that cost his employer millions of dollars so he could pay for hunting safaris, taxidermy services and real estate.

Jerry Hennessey, 56, of Dalton pleaded guilty Thursday to federal charges of mail fraud and tax evasion, the Star Tribune reported. Sentencing is set for June 13. Hennessey, a nearly 30-year employee, was accused in a 15-year scheme to defraud the Ashby Farmers’ Co-Operative Elevator Co. in Ashby, Minn.

Prosecutors say he used the money to pay for exotic hunting trips, taxidermy, real estate and credit card debt. Hennessey obtained a line of credit of about $7 million for the co-op by misrepresenting the amount of grain it had in storage. He then used that account to cover money he stole from his employer, which federal prosecutors say totaled about $5.3 million. Hennessey also admitted that he had not reported $3.5 million of that income between 2011 and 2017, resulting in a loss of $1.2 million in revenue to the IRS and $400,000 to the Minnesota Department of Revenue.

Multi-million-dollar foreclosure

A Douglas County court in South Dakota addressed a multi-million-dollar foreclosure case involving thousands of head of cattle, a car crash and at least enough interested parties to fill a courtroom. The case was brought by First Dakota National Bank against Robert and Becky Blom, of Corsica, South Dakota on Feb. 8.

The bank’s complaint asserts that the Bloms had overdrawn their account by more than $1 million and that, in combination with Robert Blom’s incapacitation following a car crash last week, was enough for the bank to consider itself insecure.

In addition to the bank, nine law firms filed notices of appearances in the case representing 17 additional parties. However, it’s currently unknown just how many parties will be involved in the case or how much money is owed, as not all parties have yet been identified. Parties in attendance at the hearing declined to comment on the case to The Daily Republic. As of Feb. 7, the complaint stated that the Bloms owed a principal amount of $6,748,600.92 in notes and an additional $792.75 per day in accrued interest on those notes.

Iowa man ordered to pay restitution

In November, an Alton, Iowa man was the subject of a $2.1 million judgment by a federal commission for illegally trading crude oil futures and swindling more than 40 customers across the country.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission ordered Lon Olen Friedrichsen to pay $591,570 in restitution and imposed a civil fine against him of $1.5 million. He was also banned from any further trading, according to a court order out of the Southern District of New York. From June 2014 through June 30, 2018, Friedrichsen promised a 50-50 split of any trading profits to those whose trading accounts he gained access to, according to the commission. Rather than profitably trade customers’ accounts, however, his illegal trading caused customers to lose almost $600,000. Friedrichsen used Craigslist, contacts and other means to entice customers and misrepresented his trading experience and profits, according to the commission. He claimed he was a registered futures trader who would earn customers 10 percent daily trading profits.

He also “fabricated futures trading reports that falsely reflected highly profitable trading and tens of millions of dollars under (his own) management,” the commission said in a press release. In reality, Friedrichsen overstated his trading prowess and “generated excessive losses” in customers’ accounts, the commission said. The original complaint filed against Friedrichsen in March says he also solicited clients under false names, such as Lon Kummer and Lon Richardson.

Corn analysis

Corn closed the week $.00 3/4 higher. Last week, private exporters did not announce any private sales.

Corn weekly export inspections totaled 37.1 mb for the week ending Thursday, February 14, equal to 37.1 mb for the same week a year ago.

Corn needs to average 45.9 mb each week to reach the USDA export forecast. In the weekly EIA report; U.S. ethanol production, for the week ended 2/15/19, fell notably to 996k barrels/day (293 million gallons/week) from 1.029 million bpd (303 mil gal/week) the week prior and was a very solid 6.7 percent below last year’s same-week production of 1.068 mbpd. The data reflected the 2nd lowest weekly ethanol production rate of the last 43 weeks. Crude oil stocks saw an increase of 3.7 mb vs. an expected increase of 3.1 mb. The USDA Outlook forum is projecting corn acres at 92.0 million versus 89.1 million in 2018 and projecting 2019/20 U.S. end-stocks for corn at 1.650 bb.

Strategy and outlook

Producers should look to sell the carry for spring or summer months and use options to re-own and manage risk. Don’t store unpriced crop.

Soybeans analysis

Soybeans closed the week $.02 1/2 higher. Last week, private exporters did not announce any private sales.

Soybean weekly export inspections totaled 37.9 mb, up from 35.3 mb for the same week a year ago. Soybeans needs to average 33.2 mb each week to reach the USDA export forecast.

Ag Secretary Purdue announced that China will buy another 10 mmt of U.S. soybeans (no specifics on timeline) taking total 2018/19 PRC purchases of U.S. soybeans to 17.5 mmt (this total does not include any of the 3.0 mmt of U.S. soy exports sales in unknown category). Trump says “biggest farm deal ever made” and hints that final overall trade deal will be made on face to face meeting with President Xi.

The USDA Outlook Forum is projecting 2019 U.S. soybean acres at 85.0 million vs. 89.2 million in 2018 and 2019 U.S. soybean stocks at 845 mb.

Strategy and outlook

Producers should look to sell the carry for spring or summer months and use options to re-own and manage risk. Don’t store unpriced crops.

This material has been prepared by a sales or trading employee or agent of Midwest Market Solutions and is, or is in the nature of, a solicitation. This material is not a research report prepared by Midwest Market Solution’s Research Department. The risk of loss in trading futures and/or options is substantial and each investor and/or trader must consider whether this is a suitable investment. Past performance, whether actual or indicated by simulated historical tests of strategies, is not indicative of future results. Trading advice is based on information taken from trades and statistical services and other sources that Midwest Market Solutions believes are reliable. We do not guarantee that such information is accurate or complete and it should not be relied upon as such.

Brian Hoops can be reached at (605) 660-1155.

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