PSC seeks to be named trustee in elevator, roving grain buyer cases

Dec 20, 2018

Public Service Commission: Brian Kroshus (i); chairman Randy Christmann; Julie Fedorchak.
Credit Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The Public Service Commission is asking the courts to make it the trustee in an insolvency case for a roving grain buyer and grain warehouse license holder.

Hunter Hanson has a roving grain buyer business, as Midwest Grain Trading of Devils Lake, as well as two elevators at Tunbridge and Rohrville. The PSC began the action after receiving complaints from producers.

The PSC has filed actions in both Burleigh County District Court and the Pierce County District Court to be named as trustee.

Hanson has a $400,000 bond for the roving grain buyer business, plus a total of $315,000 for the two elevators. PSC Chairman Randy Christmann said that likely won’t be enough – but he doesn’t know for sure how much money will be owed to producers.

"We have initial claims, but until we investigate, which are valid claims and which are not valid claims," Christmann said.

Christmann said once the PSC is appointed as trustee, and a public notice is issued, more claims will come in.

"I expect we will have more claims," Christmann said. "Some will be invalid."

Commission staff will now take action to preserve any grain in storage as "trust assets." Christmann said some of the stored grain got wet – and will likely be of little value.