Owner Of Grain Exchange Sentenced For Fraud
The United States attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton,
announced today that John Kniepmann, 48, of Breese Illinois, d/b/a the Grain Exchange and
Consolidated Exchange, was sentenced in federal district court to a total of fifteen months in prison,
followed by three years supervised release, on two counts of Mail Fraud. He was further ordered to
pay restitution totaling $108,482.40.
Facts revealed in the case showed that Kniepmann owned Consolidated Exchange Inc. and
The Grain Exchange, LLC. These entities, Consolidated Exchange Inc. and The Grain Exchange,
LLC, purchased grain from farmers then sold the grain on the open market. In the course of
Consolidated Exchange Inc. and The Grain Exchange, LLC's regular business practices, the
companies stored grain, transported grain using rented trucks, and maintained sales records in their
offices. Count 1 pertained to a fraudulently inflated insurance claim for a Consolidated Exchange
Inc. storage shed located in Carlyle, Illinois, that was damaged in a fire. Kniepmann used the extra
proceeds from the insurance claim for construction costs of a personal residence in Breese, Illinois.
Count 2 pertained to the nominee sale of grain that was collateralized. In 2006, and continuing,
while John Kniepmann was doing business as Consolidated Exchange Inc. and The Grain Exchange,
LLC, he knowingly executed a scheme to defraud First State Bank through a nominee sale of grain.
The proceeds from the nominee sale were concealed from the bank and were used to pay personal
debts owed by John Kniepmann for vacations and housing costs.
The investigation was handled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Illinois Department of Agriculture with assistance from the National Insurance Crime Bureau.
The prosecution was being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Ranley Killian.