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Date: July 1, 2003
Contact: Pamela A. Bonrud
Phone Number: 605-773-3201
South Dakota Public Utilities Commission

PUC Wins $119k Judgment for SD Elevators

Pierre--The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission has won a $119,158.17 judgment against an out-of-state grain dealer and received an injunction stopping the company from doing business in the state.

"Chairman Sahr and I made the protection of consumers as the top priority for our administration and we will do everything we can to recover money for the victims," said PUC Vice Chairman Gary Hanson.

In addition to issuing the judgment and injunction, State Circuit Court Judge Lori S. Wilbur also fined Midwest Marketing, a Kansas-based company, $4,200 for 42 violations of state law.

"This should send a message that the PUC expects people to play by the rules, and there will be consequences if they don't," said PUC Chairman Bob Sahr.

According to PUC attorney Kelly Frazier, Midwest Marketing picked up grain from South Dakota elevators, delivered it out of state and sold it, but never paid the elevator who originally provided the grain. Frazier says at least eight South Dakota grain elevators were victimized.

The PUC Web site ( lists all licensed grain dealers and warehousemen in the state. To protect themselves, elevators should always check with the Commission to make sure that they only do business with persons properly licensed and bonded.

You can contact the PUC at 1-800-332-1782 with questions or complaints about regulated services.