Huron County man indicted for stealing grain

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Grain bins
(Farm and Dairy file photo)

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

NORWALK, Ohio — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine Nov. 28 announced that a Huron County Grand Jury has indicted a Monroeville man on charges of aggravated and grand theft.

Richard J. Schwan, 78, of Monroeville, was arrested Nov. 27 after being indicted Nov. 17. The indictment became public Nov. 28.

A bond hearing was held Nov. 29, where Schwan posted his property as bond — approximately 598 acres.

The indictment includes 41 counts, including 32 felony charges:

• Aggravated theft, first degree felony (seven counts)

• Grand theft, fourth degree felony (six counts)

• Theft from elderly, third degree felony (six counts)

• Falsification in a theft offense, third degree felony (nine counts)

• Insolvent handler not to accept deposits, fourth degree felony (three counts)

• Delayed price agreement, fifth degree felony (one count)

• Falsification, first degree misdemeanor (nine counts)

Schwan was doing business as Schwan Grain Inc. and was registered with the Ohio Department of Agriculture as a grain handler. He is accused of selling grain on behalf of 35 farmers and keeping $3.5 million profits from the sales.

He is also charged with filing several financial reports and documents with the Ohio Department of Agriculture which falsely reported and concealed his liabilities and the monies which he owed to farmers after he sold their grain and kept the proceeds.

The case was investigated by the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

“We thank the Ohio Attorney General’s Office for their work in this case,” said Brett Gates, deputy communications director of ODA.

“The Ohio Indemnity Fund, which exists to protect farmers in the case of a grain elevator insolvency, has been able to reimburse nearly $3 million to farmers who were previously owed money through grain deposits with Schwan Grain.

“We continue to partner with the Attorney General’s Office to ensure the Indemnity Fund is made whole and not cheated by Schwan Grain and that farmers know when they store grain at a licensed grain elevator that their investment is safe,” Gates said.

Attorneys with Attorney General DeWine’s Special Prosecutions section are prosecuting the case with Attorney Christian Stickan as the lead.

Attorney Neil A. McKown is representing Schwan.

The trial date is set for April 24, 2018.

Schwan pleas guilty July 9, 2018

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