Guar growers filed five countersuits against
"The farmers have struck back," said
Scopia filed suit in July against the guar-processing company; its former managers,
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge
Countersuits filed on behalf of farmers in state court of their respective counties list as defendants Scopia and its affiliate companies and board members.
The documents claim the guar growers are owed more than
Despite guar's price crash and West Texas Guar's inability to repay the loan, Scopia instructed Forbes and Cowan to contract with farmers for nearly double the acreage from the year before and at a price
"Such contracting decisions make little sense in light of the prevailing market conditions. However, there was method to their madness," according to the countersuit.
Forbes and Cowan recruited farmers by convincing them their company would help them make large profits if they grew guar. Meanwhile, Scopia collected dividend payments from the company as it secretly failed, the countersuits continue.
"Scopia fraudulently tricked these farmers into giving them their guar when they knew they couldn't pay," Bustos later told A-J Media.
The countersuits compare the management practices to corrupt
"What makes this case unusual -- and also more reprehensible -- is the identity of the victims ... They are hardworking farmers who financed, raised and ultimately delivered an entire year's guar crop on the basis of the representations of one or more of the defendants," according to the court documents.
"Our hope would be the farmers who are not currently represented could have their rights represented by the lawyers who are representing similar cases," he said.
In a petition filed
Bustos pointed toward the company's recent losses, which reached six figures each of the past few months.
"No good thing is happening right now economically in the case," he said.
"The debtor is converting the split (beans) to cash and creating an escrow account," he said.
Guar is a legume known for its drought tolerance. Guar beans can be processed into a food base or used in oilfield hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
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