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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Court Orders Veblen Dairy Books Examined; Millner to Testify in Court

Last week was a very bad week for Richard Millner of Veblen, South Dakota. First the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency upheld its denial of a new license for Millner's stink-bomb Excel Dairy in Thief River Falls. Then on Friday, the bankruptcy court handling Millner's Veblen West Dairy's Chapter 11 proceedings ordered Millner to submit Veblen West's files to a Rule 2004 examination and submit himself to examination in court.

AgStar Financial Services, which holds Millner's Veblen East Dairy in receivership, will conduct the 2004 examination at Prairie Ridge Management's office in Veblen tomorrow, starting at 8:30 a.m. AgStar gets to look at just about every piece of paper in the office concerning Millner's operations in the Dakotas and Minnesota since 2006. The investigation isn't just financial; Prairie Ridge is also ordered to produce any and all correspondence and notices related to environmental issues at its dairies (that could be an unpleasantly large file).

AgStar then gets to grill Millner in court Thursday, May 13, at the Marshall County Courthouse. That hearing starts at 10:00 a.m. and ends when AgStar says it does.

The date may change (lawyers do have golf games), but Veblen neighbors and folks downstream from Millner's overflowing manure mills may want to drop by the Marshall County Courthouse in Britton next Thursday. They may get a chance to hear their neighbor Mr. Millner answer for his unhealthy and apparently unsuccessful business practices.

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Not helping Millner's financial situation: the $1.5 million in damages the U.S. District Court of Minnesota hit him and R&J Dairy partner James Nickeson with last year as a result of Millner's playing shell games with cattle that didn't belong to him. (Don't they call that rustling?)

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