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Friday, 18 April 2014 14:18

Former oilseed cooperative leader faces federal charges

(AREA) -- A former executive with Thumb Oilseed Producers Cooperative in Ubly faces prison time after being accused of causing soy flour containing salmonella bacteria to be introduced into interstate commerce. JoAnn Rutkowski pleaded not guilty during arraignment in March. She is charged with a felony count of causing the introduction of adulterated food into interstate commerce. Rutkowski remains free on bond and will stand trial July 8 in U.S. District Court in Bay City. Federal prosecutors say the crime was allegedly committed between December 2010 and January 2011 when Rutkowski was serving as the Chief Operating Officer at the cooperative. If convicted, she faces a maximum of 3-years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Reports say the cooperative filed for bankruptcy in March 2012.