State: Man pleads guilty to theft of $3M in grain proceeds

NORWALK, Ohio — State officials say a man accused of stealing more than $3 million in proceeds from grain he sold on behalf of northern Ohio farmers has pleaded guilty to theft and other charges.

The Ohio Department of Agriculture and the Ohio Attorney General's Office say 79-year-old Richard Schwan pleaded guilty Monday in Norwalk to charges including aggravated theft and falsification.

Investigators say Schwan, doing business as Schwan Grain Inc., sold grain on behalf of 35 farmers in Huron, Erie, Lorain, Richland and Seneca counties. Investigators say he deliberately failed to pay farmers their share of grain-sale proceeds and filed false financial documents with Ohio.

The plea agreement calls for the Monroeville man to pay about $3.2 million in restitution. A message was left Tuesday for Schwan's attorney.

Sentencing is Aug. 23.

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