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Farmers unhappy with Express Grain bankruptcy mediation efforts

Monday, March 21, 2022, 12:50 pm News Flash Archive

While there is no official word on the mediation that took place last Thursday at the order of the bankruptcy court, some farmers have expressed their frustration at its outcome.

The mediation took place to try to reach a settlement as to the claims to ownership or security interest in the corn and soybeans that were delivered by the farmers to EG but were never paid for. According to EG's attorney Craig Geno, the farmers are owed around $46 million for their grain.

The mediation took place between lawyers representing the farmers, the production lenders (who loaned money to the farmers to finance the crops), and the Warehouse Receipt Holders ("WRH") UMB Bank, StoneX, and Macquarie, that EG sold all the beans to in order to receive financing money. See our original reporting on the court's order for mediation here: Express Grain bankruptcy court sends grain determination to mediation

One farmer, Paige Adcock, went public on Facebook Saturday, providing details of what she had heard went on at the Thursday mediation efforts.

According to her Facebook comment, the farmers have been informed that at the mediation:

1. WRH offered the farmers $8.8 million.

2. The $8.8 million would not cover the outstanding liens against the farmers' crops held by the production lenders.

3. The farmers countered with a $36 million offer.

4. The WRH never responded with a counter offer.

5. The mediation, which was set to began at 9 am Thursday morning, went on until 7:45 pm Thursday evening.

6. The farmers cannot afford to appeal any adverse decision that the court might make.

7. The WRH have an army of lawyers, plenty of money, and will appeal any decision adverse to them.

The Taxpayers Channel has been able to confirm with two other sources that all these facts were reported to the farmers by those who attended the mediation efforts.

Mrs. Adcock is a member of Island Farms LLC, which is the lead plaintiff in the class action lawsuit filed against UMB Bank. Their attorney, Don Barrett, has alleged a conspiracy between UMB Bank and Express Grain to sucker the farmers into delivering their grain to EG, for which they were not paid, and then effectively "seizing" the grain by EG filing for bankruptcy, all in order to satisfy the $70 million in outstanding loans that UMB Bank had provided to EG.

No evidence backing these claims against UMB Bank has been revealed publicly, and UMB Bank has requested that the lawsuit be dismissed. See our reporting on the lawsuit against UMB Bank here: Farmers double down in class action suit against UMB Bank in Express Grain failure

We reached out to seven attorneys representing the Warehouse Receipt Holders (UMB Bank, StoneX, and Macquarie) for comment, but none of them replied to our requests.

There is no official word as to whether the mediation has been concluded by the court appointed mediator, William Houston Brown, or whether more attempts at mediation will be made by him.

 


To read all our coverage of the Express Grain bankruptcy case, see here: Index of Express Grain articles

 

John Pittman Hey
The Taxpayers Channel

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