A tobacco warehouse owner, Keaton Rankin, in Oxford is facing up to 5 years in prison for his involvement in a crop insurance scheme. The scheme involved obtaining crop insurance and filing false insurance claims on the crops. Rankin paid cash for the tobacco and used fake names so that the farmers would get paid twice, once from the government and once from buyers, and in turn received lower prices for more product. This scheme, which went on for over almost a year, cost the government $400,000.
Fraud expert Linda Webb, aka the Fraud Dog says Crop Fraud is thriving during a down economy. It is a great way for the farming fraudster to “double dip”. First the fraudster sells the crop on the black market and then files a crop claim. A 2-for-1 deal. Again we have got to put tighter controls in place if we want to stop fraud. During a down economy, this is not the time to relax our controls and down-size the amount of investigators across the nation. I realize that this is the “land of opportunity” but when our farmlands are being pillaged by the farming fraudster, it takes deserving dollars away from other hard working farmers who are simply trying to make an honest living, says The Fraud Dog.
To report potentially fraudulent activity, contact Linda Webb aka The Fraud Dog, leading fraud expert at 1-855-FRAUD-DOG.