Several employees of a Crete corn milling business have fallen victim to an email scam months after it happened.

At least three employees at Bunge Milling told the Crete Police Department that personal information was stolen and is being used to commit fraud.

"Whoever the actors are are using it for their own personal gain," said Crete Police Chief Steve Hensel.

He said the employees he's talked with said several other employees at the Crete location have been affected. The company employs more than 100 people in the city.

Hensel, who declined to say what the fraud involved, said Crete police are not doing a criminal investigation because the fraud did not happen at the local operation. He said it's his understanding that it occurred at the company's corporate headquarters in suburban St. Louis.

However, Deb Seidel, communications director with Bunge North America, said the issue did originate in Crete.

Last summer, an employee at the Crete operation sent personal information via email to a person she thought was a Bunge executive, Seidel said.

However, it turned out to be an email scam.

Seidel said the company dealt with the problem and did what it could for affected employees, including offering two free years of a credit monitoring service.

Some employees recently learned that income tax returns were fraudulently filed in their names.

Seidel said a small number of employees in the Crete office have been affected.

Bunge North America is a diversified agriculture company with more than 4,000 employees. The Crete mill, which the company bought in 1978, is its only Nebraska location, but it also owns a large soybean crushing and refining plant in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

Reach the writer at 402-473-2647 or molberding@journalstar.com.

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