Friday, January 13, 2017

Growing A Crop of Fraud

The American Farm Bureau Federation states that farmers and ranchers only receive 16 cents out of each dollar spent on food. The remainder goes to “wages and materials for production, processing, marketing, transportation and distribution.” (Sometimes, when there’s a bad year and crop production is down, it’s hard to make ends meet. But that was not the case in this situation.)A Missouri farmer, who collected more than $448,000 in crop insurance benefits he did not deserve, ended up reaping a prison sentence instead of a bountiful crop due to his fraudulent claims.

An article posted on indicates that over five years, the Missouri man illegally received $240,367 in insurance payments in the name of a farm he owned and operated. Additionally, he obtained another $207,729 in insurance indemnities, premium subsidies and administrative subsidies he did not qualify for.

And that’s not all. Investigators discovered that the man also transmitted “Extended Work Search Waivers” to the Missouri Division of Employment Security reporting that his employees had been temporarily laid off when in fact they were working and receiving a paycheck. These fraudulent activities occurred over five years and caused more than $60,000 in unemployment Insurance benefits to be paid to employees that were not eligible to receive them.

The 49-year-old fraudster pleaded guilty to making false statements about crop insurance benefits, theft of government property and wire fraud. He was sentenced to prison for two years.
Further research revealed that the man owned and operated multiple farms and related businesses. His scam involved putting the businesses in other people’s names in order to receive the insurance payments he would otherwise not qualify for. (Perhaps a two-year stint in prison will help this offender to weed out his criminal tendencies so that he can grow in character.)

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