A crop insurance fraud case totaling 40 million dollars led to 23 people getting charged with a crime and 17 other people paying civil fines or penalties. DTN says the case began in 2014 at the USDA’s Inspector General Office when it received a phone tip about alleged fraud at Clay’s Tobacco Warehouse in Mount Sterling, Kentucky. The defendants are accused of cheating the crop insurance program out of anywhere from under $10,000 to many millions of dollars. The most common scheme centered around farmers that raised a good tobacco crop. But, they worked together with insurance agents and adjusters to claim the crop got damaged by storms or pests. After the farmer filed an insurance claim and received payment, the insurance agents and adjusters got kickback payments. FBI investigators say farmers had help from several employees at Clay’s Tobacco House, including one employee who was also a crop insurance agent.
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