Mount Vernon man pleads no contest to stealing $400,000 worth of grain

MOUNT VERNON, S.D. (AP) – A Mount Vernon man accused of stealing $400,000 worth of grain from a Davison County farm family has pleaded no contest to a grand theft charge.

Authorities allege 47-year-old Merle Northrup sold loads of corn and soybeans under his own name while working for the farm family, keeping the proceeds. The thefts are alleged to have occurred over a span of five years.

Northrup entered his plea Wednesday. He faces up to 15 years in prison and a $30,000 fine when he’s sentenced next month.