A federal jury has found two Surrey County men guilty of three counts of crop insurance fraud.
James Garrett, 68, and Levi Garrett, 44, were acquitted of four other crop insurance fraud charges and two counts of serious fraud against the United States. The verdict was returned on Monday (31 October 2022).
The charges carry a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and/or a fine of $250,000, five years of supervised release, and a special assessment of $300 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.
According to court information, in 2018, defendants falsely proved to crop insurance companies that they had planted 2,200 acres of sunflowers in Surrey County. In fact, Defendant did not plant sunflowers and wrongfully received compensation from insurance companies totaling $495,048. In 2019, James Garrett falsely proved that he planted 47.5 acres of corn in Surrey County. In fact, no corn was planted and he fraudulently received a total of $484,405 in compensation from insurance companies.
The incident was investigated by the USDA’s Office of the Inspector General and the USDA Risk Management Agency.
A pre-sentence investigation was ordered. The defendant was released pending judgment. No date has been set yet.
Two Surrey County men have been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of making false statements related to federal crop insurance and felony fraud against the United States.
James Garrett, 67, and Levi Garrett, 43, each pleaded not guilty.
The indictment alleges in Surrey County between 2017 and 2020 that James Garrett made a total of four false statements related to federal crop insurance, while Levi Garrett made false statements related to federal crop insurance. Alleges that he made one false statement. Additionally, in 2020, James Garrett ran two fraudulent schemes to receive money from the Coronavirus Relief Fund.
Administered by the State of South Dakota through the Small Business Grant Program.
The maximum penalty each defendant faces if convicted is up to 30 years in federal prison and/or a fine of $1 million, five years of supervised release, and $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. dollar payment. You can also order a refund.
Both Garrett were released on pending trial bail set for February 15, 2022.
The investigation is being conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Inspector General, and Risk Management Agency. Assistant U.S. Attorney Cameron J. Cook is prosecuting the case.
Earlier this year (May 17, 2021), the U.S. Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to work with agencies across government to organize Department of Justice resources to combat pandemic-related fraud, We have stepped up our efforts to prevent it. The Task Force will strengthen efforts to investigate and prosecute the most guilty domestic and international offenders and, among other methods, seek remedies to prevent fraud by strengthening and incorporating existing coordination mechanisms. Assisting agencies tasked with administering the program, identifying resources and techniques to uncover wrongdoers, sharing and leveraging information and insights gained from their schemes, as well as previous enforcement efforts. For more information on the agency’s response to the pandemic, please visit: https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus.
Anyone with information about an attempted fraud claim related to COVID-19 can report it to the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web.
Complaint form: https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.