TX -- "Where's the money? That's a
good question," said Steve Blankenship of New Horizon Ag Service, a victim,
and nearly 400 farmers are wondering the same thing.
"They were just processing and selling their product, but not paying any of the growers," explained Terry White, also of New Horizon Ag Service and a victim.
They all signed a contract with West Texas Guar, the only place in the U.S. that processes the rare bean. After a New York City company took it over, the producers say haven't seen a dime.
Blankenship and Terry White delivered their beans early January.
Several days later, "on January the 99th, we received a letter stating West Texas Guar was in financial trouble and they didn't know when they would be able to pay."
The letter was drafted December 13, 2013, two weeks prior to the product being delivered.
"There was a time delay in getting that letter out until we had delivered our beans," said Blankenship.
Blankenship tried contacting the CEO of West Texas Guar on March 11 to find out if they were getting paid. He responded the next day via email with this:
"we plan to apt every dollar we owe."
so I reached out to Mr. Mark Stanley and this is what he had to say:
"Our side of it is that they've forced us into involuntary bankruptcy and I have no control now."
He had no comment about the delayed letter, but did say:
"I can tell you we had the financing in place before this was all filed, they basically, pardon my French, screwed themselves on this one, and it's now completely out of our hands, and they'll end up getting far less then we offered them, so it's a shame actually. It's a complete shame."
He said the term sheet posted on the web site shows the producers would've been paid last week, had they not forced West Texas Guar into involuntary bankruptcy. But if the courts don't send them into bankruptcy, Stanley says they will pay the producers like they should.
"We'd be happy to, we'd be tickled to death."
"It's a shame for this situation to happen and it certainly wasn't our desire to do that."
Terry White says he was reluctant to join the farmers in Lubbock who forced West Texas Guar into bankruptcy, and wanted to give the company the benefit of the doubt. But now the court has suspended pay to the professional services at West Texas Guar for two weeks.