54-157. Breach of marketing contract of cooperative association; spreading false reports about the finances or management thereof; misdemeanor.

Any person or persons, or any corporation whose officers or employees knowingly induces or attempts to induce any member or stockholder of an association organized hereunder to breach his marketing contract with the association, or who maliciously and knowingly spreads false reports about the finances or management thereof shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor and subject only to a fine of not less than one hundred dollars ($100.00), and not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), for such offense and shall be liable to the association aggrieved in a civil suit in the penal sum of five hundred dollars ($500.00) for each such offense: Provided, that this section shall not apply to a bona fide creditor of any member or stockholder of such association, or the agents or attorney of any such bona fide creditor, endeavoring to make collection of the indebtedness, or to any communication, written or oral, between a business company or concern and persons with whom it has an existing contractual relationship which communication relates to the performance of that contractual relationship and duties and responsibilities arising therefrom. (1921, c. 87, s. 25; C.S., s. 5259(dd); 1963, c. 1168, s. 14; 1993, c. 539, s. 430; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c).)