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Nation IN BRIEF : NATIONWIDE : Fraud Is Found in Farm Aid Program

October 03, 1994|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Federal investigators have found far-reaching fraud and mismanagement in the U.S. Agriculture Department aid program that provides billions of dollars to farmers who suffer crop losses in disasters such as the Midwest floods of 1993, a newspaper reported. Citing reports by the Agriculture Department and Senate investigators, the New York Times said many farmers have collected excessive payments by inflating crop losses, misstating the acreage they planted or failing to harvest crops when market prices fell below the amount paid in disaster assistance. The paper said the inquiry by the Senate Agriculture Committee was limited to eight crops in nine states. Still, the story said, investigators found $92.5 million in questionable payments from 1988 to 1993.

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