Sen. Hagan amends farm bill to address crop fraud
A measure championed by U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan adds $5 million in new funding to the 2013 farm bill to help root out crop insurance fraud.
The Senate approved Hagan's amendment Thursday by a vote of 94-0. The money will boost the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Risk Management Agency, which is responsible for policing the $120 billion taxpayer-supported program that insures farmers against losses from weather and pests.
The North Carolina Democrat introduced the measure after The Associated Press reported in February that federal investigators unraveled a massive scheme by insurance agents, claims adjusters, brokers and farmers in eastern North Carolina to steal about $100 million. Forty-one defendants have either pleaded guilty or reached plea agreements after profiting from false claims on losses of tobacco, soybeans, wheat and corn.