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Texas judge ends one VeroBlue saga by denying continuance, canceling trial

WEBSTER CITY — A prosecution motion to once again continue the Texas felony trials of three men who were key in the operation of VeroBlue Farms USA in Webster City has been denied and the trials canceled.

The cases in Collin County, Texas, were disposed of late last week, according to court filings in that jurisdiction. Thus ends this leg of court journeys traveled by Leslie Wulf, Bruce Hall and John Rea. The trio were scheduled to go to jury trial October 2 on multiple felony counts related to VeroBlue; they were key in the operation of VeroBlue Farms USA in Webster City until its 2018 demise.

Wulf, 62; Hall, 67; and Rea, 57, were indicted by a grand jury in Collin County, Texas, in November 2022 and were arrested on Feb. 24, online records show.

Each faced charges of false statement for property/credit and secure execution of doc by deception. Both are first-degree felonies.

Documents for each individual on the false statement charge read: “on or about the 1st day of July, 2015 to on or about the 31st day of July, 2020 in said county (Collin) and State (Texas) did then intentionally and knowingly make a materially false or misleading written statement to VeroBlue Farms USA, namely by altering a 3rd party assessment documentation without authorization and using those documents, with the intent to obtain investors and loan funding for an agribusiness in Iowa and the amount received was $300,000 or more.”

Documents for each individual on the deception charge read: “on or about the 1st day of July, 2015 to on or about the 31st day of July, 2020 in said county (Collin) and State (Texas), did then and there, with intent to harm or defraud VeroBlue Farms USA, cause VeroBlue USA to sign or execute a document, without the effective consent, namely by deception, alter a 3rd party business assessment that was then distributed to potential investors and lenders as authentic, which affected the pecuniary interest of VeroBlue Farms USA, the value of the pecuniary interest being $300,000 or more.”

No further details about the cases were available.

VeroBlue Farms, which promised to make fish a leading commodity in Webster City, filed for Chapter 11 in federal bankruptcy court in late 2018, disclosing that it is drowning in more than $100 million debt, most of which is unsecured.

VBF, according to its bankruptcy petition, owed $98,943,246.22 in unsecured debt to its top 20 creditors.

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