PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota Hutterian Co-operative of Aberdeen has agreed to pay a $25,000 fine after receiving many loads of soybeans while lacking a state-required grain buyer’s license.
The state Public Utilities Commission will decide on September 27 whether to accept the settlement that was signed by the co-op’s lawyer, Julie Dvorak of Aberdeen, and commission lawyer Kristen Edwards.
The deal came just two months after a new law took effect raising the maximum fine to $50,000. Prior to July 1, the top penalty was $20,000.
The settlement says the $25,000 amount reflects “the large number of loads” purchased without a license but also that the co-op quickly became licensed after receiving notification of the need for a state license from the commission’s grain-warehouse staff.
How many loads hasn’t been made public.
The commission began considering the matter in mid-July. The agreement came one day after the commission granted the co-op an exemption, until July 1, 2023, from an administrative rule that requires applicants for Class A grain-buying licenses to provide independent reviewed or audited financial statements.
The co-op sells soybeans to the AGP processing plant at Aberdeen.