Goehring urges corn producers to seek legal advice

BISMARCK—Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring is urging corn producers to consult an attorney if they receive a letter from a New York law firm telling them they must repay money they received from corn sales to bankrupt ethanol producer VeraSun Energy Corp.

“If you get one of these letters, you should talk to your attorney or a bankruptcy attorney before taking any action,” Goehring said in a statement. “You must not ignore the letter, but do not respond or sign anything until you have gotten legal advice.”

According to a news release, several North Dakota producers reported receiving the letter last week telling them they have until Sept. 30 to repay 80 percent of any payments for corn sold to VeraSun in the 90-day period before company’s bankruptcy filing on Oct. 31, 2008.

The letter cites a provision of federal bankruptcy law giving unsecured creditors in bankruptcy filings a second chance at any assets of the bankrupt company.

More information on legal issues surrounding the VeraSun bankruptcy preference letters is available at www.calt.iastate.edu/briefs/CALT%20Legal%20Brief%20-%20Verasun-Trustee%20Recovery.pdf.

Goehring urges producers with questions about the letters to contact Dane Braun at the North Dakota Department of Agriculture at (701) 328-4764 or danebraun@nd.gov.