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A west-central Minnesota farmer has been charged in federal court with cheating a grain elevator out of thousands of dollars with the help of two elevator employees over four years.

Bryan D. Crandall, a corn and soybean farmer near Herman, worked with two co-conspirators at the CHS Inc. elevator in Herman between 2013 and 2017 to “inflate the records of his delivery of corn and soybeans,” the complaint filed May 27 said.

Usually trucks are weighed before and after they unload grain at an elevator and there’s no room for shenanigans, but at the elevator in Herman, employees could manually enter weight data to account for unusual circumstances such as the positioning of the truck on the scale.

Crandall’s co-conspirators, who are not named in the complaint, made “manual entries in the elevator computer,” causing “Crandall to be paid as if he had delivered more grain than he in fact delivered,” prosecutors said.

Crandall shared the proceeds of the fraud “through bank transfers and by giving them cash and property, including vehicles and firearms.”

Crandall was charged with felony conspiracy and the U.S. Attorney’s Office is seeking at least $6,335 in fraudulent proceeds, and “a money judgment not to exceed $355,517.”

Crandall’s lawyer declined to comment.