A Canadian-based company that promised to supply hay and straw has stolen millions of dollars from drought-affected ranchers in Montana, according to the state’s attorney general.
“New Way Ag” promised hay, barley straw, and wheat straw at low prices, then collected payments, but never delivered any product, says Attorney General Austin Knudsen.
“Montana ranchers are facing headwinds as it is without being scammed by crooks looking to make a quick buck. Please report any suspected scams to our office so we can hold these criminals accountable,” says Knudsen, in a public warning issued April 20.
An investigation is still underway, he says, but the state’s Office of Consumer Protection is estimating the New Way Ag scam has cost Montana ranchers up to US$5 million.
Details about the company are scarce. It appears to be based in Okotoks, Alberta, and according to its website, is offering contracts for hay and/or straw in the Calgary area, as well as prospecting for contracts in southern Saskatchewan. A “Scott P” is the company’s senior operations manager, according to an account under that name on LinkedIn.
Montanans who made payments to New Way Ag are told to contact the Montana Office of Consumer Protection at 406-444-4500.