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BRIEFLY

Agriculture

October 04, 1994|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Fraud, Misuse Cited in Disaster Aid Program: Farmers have inflated crop losses, lied about acreage planted and failed to harvest crops when prices fell below what they would get in disaster aid, say investigators at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Senate. The aid program has paid billions of dollars to farmers who suffered crop losses caused by the Midwest floods of 1993 and Hurricane Andrew in 1992. In some cases, producers claimed disaster losses rather than harvesting or marketing their crops when prices had fallen, investigators said. They said overpayments might account for $300 million, or up to 16%, of the $2.4 billion paid out during the period studied.

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