Commentary and information about public safety and security, intelligence and counterintelligence, open government and secrecy, and other issues in northern Idaho and eastern Washington.

Location: Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, United States

Raised in Palouse, WA. Graduated from Washington State University. US Army (Counterintelligence). US Secret Service (Technical Security Division) in Fantasyland-on-the-Potomac and Los Angeles. Now living in north Idaho.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Farmers: The New Organized Crime Families?

Thinking of the American farmer, one usually envisions a weather-worn, hard-working altruistic soul doing an honest days work to provide food for the rest of the world.

Think again.

In September 2005, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) provided a report entitled Crop Insurance - Actions Needed to Reduce Program's Vulnerability to Fraud, Waste, and Abuse. The report was provided to the Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the US Senate. Among other details, the report describes how "In 2004 the crop insurance program provided $47 billion in coverage, at a cost of $3.6 billion, including an estimated $160 million in losses from fraud and abuse" by producers. Producers are farmers.

On November 14, 15, and 16, 2005, National Public Radio aired three stories, all under the topic "Fraud on the Farm". The transcripts of the stories are available at the NPR website and are much more readable (and interesting!) than the GAO report.

Here are links to the three NPR stories, each authored by John Burnett:

November 14 - Tomato Farmers Caught Out in Insurance Scam

November 15 - Crop Insurance Program Ripe for Fraud

November 16 - High-Tech Methods Crack Farm Insurance Cheats


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