July 16, 2019

Raw Milk Farmer Charged With 38 Felony Counts

Palmer Felony Complaint California

Felony complaint filed against Sharon Palmer, James Stewart and Larry Otting. Click image to read.

A raw milk farmer from Santa Paula California who is being prosecuted in Los Angeles County for selling raw milk without a license has been charged with 38 felony counts including grand theft, money laundering, conspiracy and income tax evasion, according to a complaint filed in Superior Court in Ventura County California and obtained by Food Poisoning Bulletin.

Sharon Palmer, 51, who operates Healthy Family Farms in Santa Paula, and her co-defendants James Stewart, who operates the Rawesome Club in Venice, and Larry Otting collected more than $400,000 from investors without telling them the money would be used to obtain a bank loan under false pretenses.

The crimes are alleged to have occurred between Feb. 1, 2008, and April 1, 2009, in an effort to secure funds to buy the $2 million, 51-acre parcel of Santa Paula land where Healthy Family Farms is located.

“She faces 38 counts related to mortgage fraud, including two counts of conspiracy, grand theft, two counts of theft from an elder, money laundering, securities fraud and income tax evasion,” said Ventura County Senior Deputy District Attorney Chris Harman in an interview with Food Poisoning Bulletin. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 34 years in prison, he said. An arraignment is scheduled later this month.

Palmer faces additional felony charges in Los Angeles County in connection with producing and selling raw goat’s milk and other products without a license.

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