William L. Rogers, of Mebane, N.C., a broker who also owned and operated W.L. Rogers Farm, allegedly took tobacco grown by other farmers and sold it as his own. That allowed his co-conspirators to hide some or all of their tobacco production.
Thereafter, the farmers, with Rogers' help, filed false crop insurance claims, according to U.S. Attorney Thomas Walker of the Eastern District of North Carolina.
As a result, about $7.4 million in federal crop insurance indemnity payments and $1.02 million in crop hail indemnity payments were made to Rogers' insureds.
In addition, Rogers allegedly failed to disclose various business relationships with his insureds on required conflict of-interest forms, and told at least one of his insureds to lie to federal investigators, Walker alleges.
As of press time, Rogers had not yet been sentenced.
--By Anne Freedman
February 19, 2013
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