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Description: Grand Rapids, Michigan civil litigation lawyers represented Defendants accused of violating the False Claims Act by causing the submission of fraudulent claims for federal crop insurance and federal farm benefit payments.
The settlement resolves civil claims the United States brought against the defendants in a December 2021 lawsuit. In its complaint, the United States alleged that the defendants defrauded the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (“USDA”) Farm Service Agency (“FSA”) by operating a scheme to avoid benefit program payment limitations. Specifically, the United States alleged that the defendants placed their farmland and crops in the names of their employees, who served as a facade for defendants but had no financial risk or interest in the crops and had them enroll in FSA benefit programs. These individuals then provided the FSA benefit payments to the defendants. The United States further alleged that defendants caused these individuals to take out fraudulent federal crop insurance policies for these crops, even though they had no insurable interest in these crops, and that the proceeds of the policies went to the defendants.
Outcome: Settled for $1.2 million.