Texas Farmer Digs Up Crop Insurance Fraud Scheme

November 2, 2004

United States Attorney Richard Roper recently announced that Donnie R. Neff, was sentenced by the Honorable Sam Cummings, United States District Judge, to five years probation following his guilty plea in June to a one-count Information charging false statements to a government agency.

Judge Cummings also ordered that Neff, 58 and a resident of Santa Anna, (Coleman County), Texas, pay $18,493.44 restitution to Credit Commodity Corporation, Coleman County Farm Service Agency, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA); $73,993,96 to the Farm Service Agency, representing a civil debt owed to the Farm Service Agency as a result of monies paid to Neff; and $25,000 cost of prosecution. Judge Cummings further barred Neff from participating in any USDA program for five years.

In documents filed in Court, Neff reportedly admitted that from July 1999 through April 2001, he prepared false and fraudulent statements in various Reports of Acreage Farm Summary, Forms FSA 578s, certifying that he had planted Sudex and Sudan (varieties of hay crops) on his farms in Coleman County, when he had not.

Neff also further admitted that he knowingly and willfully filed false claims against these crops for failure due to drought, when the crops had never been planted.

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