Arlington couple, third defendant, reach plea deal for bilking millions from farmers

HURON, S.D. (AP) — Three members of a South Dakota family accused of bilking millions from farmers due to risky speculation in the grain business have reached a plea deal with prosecutors.

While they originally faced 22 charges, Jared Steffensen, his wife Tami Steffensen and his mother, JoAnn Steffensen, each pleaded guilty to one felony charge on Tuesday in Beadle County.

Dozens of farmers who collectively lost millions when H&I Grain failed to pay them for their grain, were in court when the Steffensens entered their pleas.

Jared and Tami Steffensen, of Arlington, pleaded guilty to theft by deception.

His mother, JoAnn Steffensen pleaded guilty to a felony of failing to inform state regulators that the company was failing financially.