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Lawsuits are starting to pile up against B&B Worm Farms of Oklahoma, the company that sold contracts to a number of Kentucky farmers to buy earthworms, and recent shipments to the company have not resulted in payments to farmers.

The Kentucky Attorney General's office filed suit in early April (Courier-Journal coverage), Mississippi has issued a cease-and-decist order, and recently the Oklahoma Securities Department filed a $14 million lawsuit against the beleaguered company, which filed for bankruptcy earlier this year.

B&B became the largest network of earthworm growers in the country by selling contracts for from $2,000 to as much as $80,000. According to the contracts, B & B was to buy back worms produced by the contracting farmers, and many in this region were banking on the worm production to diversify their farming income.

However, recent shipments of worms have either not been accepted or payment has not been sent, and the company's assets are frozen pending the bankruptcy litigation. This leaves farmers with tons of worms that they are unsure what to do with, and with heavy investments in buildings and storage for the worms, for which there may not be a market.

This story was posted on 2003-05-05 17:17:31
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