Claypool Sentenced For Grass Seed Fraud

A Spokane man has been sentenced for his role in a multimillion dollar fraud scheme that involved grass seed at facilities in western Oregon.

Christopher Claypool, 52, was sentenced last week to three years in federal prison and three years of supervised release. According to the Albany Democrat-Herald, under the terms of his plea deal Claypool has already paid nearly $8.3 million in restitution and agreed to forfeit nearly $7.8 million.

Claypool pleaded guilty in March to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering. Investigators say Claypool engaged in schemes to defraud the J.R. Simplot Co. and its customers while he was the general manager of Jacklin Seed Co., then owned by Simplot.

Claypool’s schemes from 2015-2019 reportedly included packaging seed varieties with false and misleading labels, embezzling $12 million while posing as a foreign sales partner and conspiring with a travel agency in Spokane to inflate costs of his international travel. Simplot has since refunded or credited more than $1.5 million to defrauded grass seed buyers.

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