S.D. businessman accused of illegal grain buys

Capitol News Bureau

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Government lawyers are trying to halt an Onida man and one of his businesses from purchasing more grain in South Dakota without the necessary state license.

The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission has been asked to issue an injunction and take other action against Jeremey Frost and Fearless Grain Marketing LLC.

Frost is accused of violating a South Dakota law requiring a grain buyer’s license be obtained from the commission before transacting business in the state.

Each violation is a class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in county jail and a $2,000 fine.

State law also allows a civil penalty of $1,000 per violation, up to a maximum $20,000.

Frost also is accused of breaking another South Dakota law requiring a grain buyer to make full payment on a grain purchase within 30 days of final delivery.

Contacted by KELOLAND News for comment, Frost had his attorney, Rob Konrad, answer.

Konrad said notice was received from the PUC late Wednesday. “We haven’t had the opportunity to investigate,” Konrad said. “We are actively looking into it.”

The commission has scheduled a special meeting April 7 at 2 p.m. CT in room 413 of the Capitol to start considering the matter.

Last October, Frost agreed in a different matter to a cease and desist order and consented to pay $1,000 to the state Division of Insurance for acting as a broker-dealer without registering.

Konrad said that was “an isolated incident” but declined to elaborate.

The state insurance director, Larry Deiter, said he couldn’t talk about it either. “Because this investigation file is confidential, we can offer no further information beyond the publicly-available administrative order,” Deiter said in an email.

South Dakota Secretary of State records show Frost as the registered agent for five businesses from the same street address in Onida: Fearless Grain Marketing LLC; Fearless Farmer Flour LLC; Fearless Grain Marketing Arbitrage and Storage LLC; Frost Enterprises LLC; and Frost Gaming LLC.

Frost Enterprises agreed to a one-year lease in May 2020 with the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks to operate the Spring Creek concession on Lake Oahe. A Facebook page for the business features a photo of Governor Kristi Noem in a sunhat.

Fearless Grain Marketing also faces a lawsuit filed in January in a Tennessee federal court by Indigo Ag. Konrad said he isn’t licensed to practice in Tennessee and a Chicago attorney has been hired.

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