Farmers find unique ways to defraud federal insurance plans

AP News
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Posted: Mar 07, 2015 10:35 AM

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A handful of farmers have found creative ways to defraud federal farm programs in recent years, including two brothers from North Dakota who were recently convicted for intentionally destroying potatoes to collect disaster payments.

Florida State University professor Chad Marzen specializes in insurance law and regulation. He says fraud is one of the biggest issues facing the federal farm programs and costs taxpayers millions of dollars per year.

Marzen cites one case in North Carolina were numerous defendants were convicted in a $100 million farm fraud case.

Aaron and Derek Johnson, who farmed in the Cooperstown area, are scheduled to be sentenced Monday. Witnesses say the two brothers added septic tank chemicals and turned up the heat in their warehouse to destroy their spuds.