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Tobacco Farmer’s False Federally Insurance Claims Go Up in Smoke

Christopher Hickerson, a tobacco farmer in Kentucky, was found guilty of crop insurance fraud and tax fraud.

From 2009 to 2016 Hickerson filed false claims of loss on his Multi-Peril Crop Insurance policies. These policies are federally sponsored and funded with taxpayer money.

Hickerson got the owner of a tobacco warehouse to give him fake sales receipts and grading reports that made it appear as if he was producing and selling poor quality tobacco. He then submitted these on his loss claims. As a result, he caused the insurance program a loss of almost one million dollars.

Hickerson also admitted that he underreported his income in 2012, 2013 and 2015, causing the IRS a loss of more than $150,000.

He was sentenced to 66 months in prison and under federal law must serve 85% of his sentence.

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