Former grain dealer gets 9 years in Ponzi scheme

St. Louis – A Missouri woman has been sentenced to nine years in federal prison for a grain fraud scheme that bilked farmers out of at least $27 million.

Cathy Gieseker of Martinsburg was sentenced Thursday in St. Louis federal court. She pleaded guilty to felony mail fraud last year.

Judge Charles Shaw ordered Gieseker to pay restitution to all of the victims, though it is not clear how much money she has available.

Gieseker used a Ponzi scheme to defraud 179 farmers out of at least $27 million in proceeds from grain sales she made on their behalf.

The scheme began in 2002 and collapsed a year ago. Gieseker still faces state charges.