Newman Grove farmer sentenced to probation for false federal insurance statements
LINCOLN, Neb. -- A northeast Nebraska farmer was sentenced in federal court Friday for profiting off of incorrect information related to federal crop insurance.
Acting U.S. Attorney Steven Russell said that 48-year-old Ross Nelson of Newman Grove was sentenced to four years' probation for making false statements.
Russell said Nelson's probation will have special conditions, including 16 weekends of intermittent confinement, and a $100 special assessment. Nelson was also ordered to pay a fine of $30,000 and restitution in the amount of $1,000,000.
In 2015, Nelson insured his corn and soybean crops located in Holt County through an authorized insurance provider which was reinsured by the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation. In October of that year, he submitted a notice of loss to his insurance provider, reporting that a certain amount of soybeans had been produced in the year of 2015.
By signing the report, Nelson certified that all the information was true and accurate.
In December of 2015, Nelson received an indemnity check in the amount of $700,092 from his insurance provider based on his reporting. Nelson also submitted a claim of loss for his Holt County corn crop in October 2015.
Due to inconsistencies in Nelson’s claim when compared to neighboring farms, the USDA Risk Management Agency initiated an investigative review of Nelson’s 2015 claims. The investigation ultimately revealed that Nelson had provided false numbers on both his Holt County corn and soybean crops indicating his production was much smaller than it truly was.
This case was investigated by the Office of the Inspector General for the United States Department of Agriculture.