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Former Express Grain owner faces up to 30 years in prison for wire fraud

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The Greenwood native and former Express Grain owner accused of defrauding a business, directly causing a grain shortage in the Mississippi Delta faces up to three decades in prison for wire fraud.

47-year-old John R. Coleman on Tuesday pleaded guilty to his role in altering Express Grain’s audited financial statements to receive a state warehouse license. Court documents reveal that he also lied about the amount of debt he owed on grain held at the facility and claimed to farmers that Express Grain was financially healthy when the company was actually on the brink of bankruptcy.

Express Grain eventually filed bankruptcy in 2021 causing widespread financial hardship for farmers all over the Mississippi Delta. Coleman faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and is set to appear in court for a sentencing hearing on June 13 at 1:30 p.m.

“The fraud committed by the defendant in this case has directly and adversely impacted a large number of farmers and it is important that he be held accountable for his actions,” U.S. Attorney Clay Joyner said. “I am extremely grateful for the state and federal law enforcement partnership that has made this prosecution possible.”

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Mississippi Attorney General’s Office, United States Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General, and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations are investigating the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Clayton A. Dabbs is prosecuting the case.

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