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White collar crimes: Farmer accused of insurance fraud

Indictments in federal courts in Michigan and elsewhere do not constitute guilt. Instead, they are only accusations. Defendants are constitutionally guaranteed the presumption of innocence unless and until prosecutors actually prove otherwise in court and beyond a reasonable doubt. This applies to all criminal cases, involving those concerning allegations of white collar crimes.

In one such a case in another state, a federal grand jury indicted a 45-year-old agricultural producer on multiple charges involving insurance fraud and conspiracy to commit offenses against the United States. Court documents indicate the producer allegedly concealed some crops and claimed crop damage to trigger indemnity payments regarding which the federal government does the funding. These payments are typically made through the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation.

Further charges were added for alleged conspiracy to use the help of others to commit insurance fraud. It is claimed that the defendant used the tobacco crops quality adjustments of others as his own to inflate losses. Also, one charge alleges the defendant used the names of others for obtaining insurance policies as new producers whose crop insurance guarantees are typically higher than those of farmers with losses in their claims histories.

Convictions for filing fraudulent claims and making false statements to the FCIC could result in prison sentences of up to 30 years and millions of dollars in fines, and more for any conviction on conspiracy charges. Anyone in Michigan who faces charges of white collar crimes will likely retain the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney. A lawyer can assess the charges and the evidence before devising a defense strategy that aims for the best possible outcome.

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