An Orient, Iowa man convicted of crop insurance fraud has been sentenced to three years of supervised release, with four months of house arrest in addition to paying over $40,000 in fines. Carl Jeffrey Campbell, 71, of Orient, Iowa was sentenced on November 16, 2018. Campbell pleaded guilty to the offense on July 6, 2018.
A Fleming County farmer grossed more than $1 million through fraudulent crop-insurance claims and other illegal acts, a federal grand jury has charged. The indictment is the fourth related to crop insurance fraud that has been handed down since 2017 in U.S. District Court for the eastern district of Kentucky.
Federal prosecutors have accused a North Carolina man of stealing more than $5 million in federal crop insurance funds over a four-year period. Officials said Wiggins and his co-conspirators owned and rented farmland in Lenoir, Wayne, and Greene counties. Higdon said that between 2007 and 2011, the conspirators collectively filed false crop insurance and federal crop disaster relief claims, manipulated transactions to evade reporting requirements and engaged in various financial transactions to conceal the fraud.
A Kentucky farmer has been indicted for allegedly fleecing insurance companies in a $2.6 million crop insurance scam. Ronny Jolly, of Paris, Ky., owned rented farmland in several Kentucky counties and was a major producer of tobacco, soybeans and corn. Prosecutors say that Jolly defrauded insurers by turning in less crop production than he actually had and filing insurance claims based on his artificially lowered yields.
United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, Gregory J. Haanstad said that Jeffrey Lewke, 39, was sentenced to six months in federal prison for making a fraudulent insurance claim. Upon his release, Lewke will serve an additional six months of home confinement. He was also ordered to pay a $2,000 fine and $23,799.44 in restitution to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Aaron Scott Johnson of Northwood, N.D., a farmer convicted of defrauding the crop insurance program by purposefully damaging potatoes in storage, is appealing his conviction. Briefs are filed and an oral argument date has been tentatively set for the morning of March 18, for an Eight Circuit Court of Appeals. Attorneys have 15 minutes to argue their case. The courthouse is at 316 N. Roberts St., St. Paul, Minn. Johnson and his brother on March 9, 2015, both were convicted in the case, and Aaron was sentenced to 48 months in federal prison for the fraud, and for making false statements to the government, and using the incident to Aaron claimed crop insurance losses between 2002 and 2006 and argued that damage was because of natural causes.
A federal judge today sentenced a Columbus County man to more than a decade in prison for crop insurance fraud. Milton Russ Barnhill got an 11-year sentence after pleading guilty last year as his trial was set to begin. The judge also sentenced him to three years supervised released and ordered Barnhill to make restitution of more than $2.5 million to various federal programs and the Horry County State Bank. Barnhill must also forfeit the money he made from the crimes.
Federal investigators say they believe Central Kentucky tobacco farmers, crop insurance agents, tobacco warehouse owners and others conspired to defraud thousands and possibly millions of dollars from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's program that insures crops. Last week, federal investigators searched several sites in Mount Sterling, including several tobacco warehouses and an insurance agency, to seize evidence.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Risk Management Agency, which administers the crop insurance program, uses satellite imaging technology to monitor farm acreage that is involved in a farmer's crop insurance claim. The images have been used in courts to determine crop insurance fraud. Since 2001, less than 100 cases that used satellite images have been prosecuted. However, teamed with data mining, the agency has put about 1,500 farms on watch for suspected fraud. Its spot check list, developed through the use of the images, has saved taxpayers $71-$110 million a year in fraudulent crop insurance claims since 2001.
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