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Potato broker sentenced to prison for stealing from growers


A potato broker was sentenced to six months in prison and eight years of probation after pleading guilty to stealing nearly $800,000 from potato growers.

Thomas Lundgren, 60, had been owner of Spud City Sales, LLC, BB #:171437 Columbus, WI, but according to the criminal complaint, he failed to pay growers for potato sales in 2011 and 2012.

Blue Book Services reported that Spud City Sales suspended operations in December 2012.

Lundgren was indicted in February 2013, and USDA brought PACA sanctions against the company in June 2013.

The criminal complaint was filed for Lundgren in August 2017, and he was eventually charged with 16 counts of felony theft. In January 2023, he pleaded no contest to four counts and had the others dismissed.

At the sentencing hearing on July 31, prosecutors requested a period of incarceration, which the judge granted.

Local news reports said many of Lundgren’s victims spoke during the case, and said he was an honorable businessman who many in the Wisconsin potato community trusted but started having financial trouble around 2011.

Lundgren’s attorney, Maris Rushevics, said Lundgren worked hard for a Wisconsin potato grower, and then opened his own business, which was successful enough for him to buy out his partners.

But then business started to go bad, and Lundgren dealt with personal problems, including a drinking problem, a divorce and the financial obligations that go along with that, and then business tax issues with the IRS.

As part of the sentencing, Lundgren was ordered to pay back $125,000 of the $788,000 he owed to potato growers.


Greg Johnson is Vice President of Media for Blue Book Services