Federal authorities dismantled a crop insurance scheme in North Carolina that brought down agents, claims adjusters, brokers and farmers who stole more than $100 million from government-backed insurance companies. The 41 defendants, who either pleaded guilty or accepted a plea agreement, collected millions for several years until 2005 when USDA auditors began using software to search for outliers in insurance claim data. One agent told tobacco farmers to take out large policies and then falsely claim large losses, despite having a productive season. The agent sold the tobacco to warehouse operators involved in the scheme, who wrote checks to false recipients to hide who was getting the money. Read more (The Associated Press).
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