Posted 10 months ago on Aug. 30, 2013, 12:54 p.m. EST by GirlFriday
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The last official figure calculated by the GAO estimated that the crop insurance program lost $117 million to “fraud, waste and abuse” in 2005, or about 4.3 percent of the program's $2.7 billion cost that year. Crop insurance spending has since expanded to roughly $9 billion. Food stamp fraud, by contrast, accounts for about 1 percent of the program’s cost.
In March, federal investigators uncovered the largest detected crop insurance fraud ring in the country—a $100 million scheme involving insurance agents, claims adjusters, brokers and farmers in eastern North Carolina. “I can tell you it’s everywhere, all across the country,” Jimmy Thomas Sasser, a claims adjuster who was sentenced to four years in prison for his involvement, told the press.
And last month, the GAO reported another form of widespread crop-insurance fraud: payments going to dead people. The USDA likely paid out $22 million to dead farmers between 2008 and 2012, because, as the report found, the “RMA does not use [the Social Security Administration] master list of deceased individuals to verify whether its policyholders have died.”
Yeah, you have to read the rest of this here