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Wisconsin farmer lowballs corn, soybean crops in $228,525 scheme

February 15, 2017, Polk County, WI — John W. Vaudreuil, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Mark E. Johnson, 50, a farmer in Dresser, Wis., was sentenced Monday, February 13, by U.S. District Judge James D. Peterson for false statements in a matter in the jurisdiction of the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC), part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Johnson was sentenced to one year of probation, which includes six months of home confinement, was fined $20,000, and order to pay $228,523.35 in restitution. Johnson pleaded guilty to this charge on November 4, 2016.

During the plea hearing in November, Johnson admitted to overstating his actual soybean and corn production history to his private crop insurer, who was reinsured by the FCIC, to increase his insurance reimbursement in later years. Johnson admitted that he falsely understated his corn and soybean production in 2013 and 2014, in connection with his misreporting of his crop production over a three-year period. Johnson admitted that by falsely stating his production, he caused a loss of $228,523.35 to the federally funded crop insurance program.

The charge against Johnson was the result of an investigation conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General. The prosecution of the case has been handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Peter M. Jarosz and Darren C. Halverson.

Source: United States Department of Justice

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