SALEM, Ohio — A civil lawsuit between Witmer’s Feed and Grain, Inc., a former employee and three other defendants has reportedly been settled.
A settlement has been reached between Donald Curfman Jr., the former employee, and his wife, Bonnie Curfman.
Curfman Jr. had worked at Witmer’s since 1993 and retired in March 2008. He served as the manager of Witmer’s Garfield Mill.
Witmer’s attorney Michael J. McGee confirmed Feb. 1 the agreement has been settled with the Curfmans, and the case is closed. However, the settlement includes a confidentiality clause which stops both sides from disclosing the terms of the settlement.
The case against the other two defendants, Richard Curfman and Belinda Ingledue, is also in the process of being settled and is expected to be completed this week. However, the terms of their settlement include the ability to refile it if necessary. It also includes a confidentiality clause which keeps those involved from talking about it.
According to the lawsuit, Witmer’s demanded more than $25,000 in collections and assets owned by Curfman that they believe to have been purchased with the money gained through the alleged scheme. The lawsuit also sought assets including a home built in 2006, which caught fire May 7, 2009.
A separate criminal investigation by the United States Department of Agriculture is reportedly ongoing in the case and has been presented to a federal prosecutor. However, indictments have not been issued yet.
According to the lawsuit filed, Curfman is accused of issuing grain tickets to Ingledue without actually receiving any grain from her as part of a scheme to defraud Witmer’s. The alleged thefts are believed to have occurred from 2003 to 2007. The duo are alleged to have split proceeds totaling more than $900,000.
However, Curfman has claimed several times in conversations with Farm and Dairy he was not alone in the plan.
Curfman is also accused of issuing fake grain tickets to himself between 2004 and 2008 and collecting more than $200,000 in compensation.
The lawsuit says Witmer’s began questioning Curfman Jr. about the grain shortage in November 2005 after a fake paper trail was allegedly created by Curfman to account for the grain transfers that never happened.
Curfman’s wife and brother were included in the lawsuit because they are believed to have known about the scheme.