Texas Farmer Convicted in Crop Insurance Scheme

March 23, 2004

United States Attorney Jane J. Boyle announced that in early March 2003 a federal jury in Wichita Falls, Texas, convicted Wendell Lynn Mints, on all counts of all 25 counts of an indictment that charged him with one count of conspiracy to submit false claims and false statements to the United States Department of Agriculture; nine counts of making false claims to the government regarding the submission of false crop insurance claims; nine counts of making false statements to the government; and six counts of making false statements to the Department of Agriculture during the course of the investigation.

According to the USDA, a jury deliberated just under eight hours following the one-week trial that was presided over by the Honorable United States District Judge David C. Godbey. Mints, age 65, faces a maximum statutory sentence of 125 years imprisonment, a $6.25 million fine, and restitution to be paid not only for the crop claims in Wilbarger County, but also for the crop claims in neighboring Foard County.

The government presented evidence at trial that Mints operated an elaborate scheme in which he “worked the system” to falsify crop insurance loss documents and collected insurance money for thousands of acres of cotton and wheat sorghum fields he did not plant. Evidence at trial showed that Mints’ fraud cost the government more than $500,000.

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