Aberdeen Man Charged With False Crop Insurance Claims
First Assistant United States Attorney Randy J. Seiler announced that an Aberdeen, South Dakota, man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for three counts of false crop insurance claims.
Nickolas Berbos, a/k/a Nikolas Berbos, age 52, was indicted by a federal grand jury on August 20, 2013. He appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge William D. Gerdes on August 22, 2013, and pled not guilty to the indictment. The maximum penalty upon conviction on each count is up to 30 years in custody, a $1,000,000 fine, or both; 5 years of supervised release; and $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. Restitution may also be ordered.
For each of the years 2009, 2010 and 2011, Berbos allegedly made false statements and false reports by over-valuing land, property and securities for the purpose of influencing the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation, in that he submitted one or more claims for prevented planting indemnity payments knowing he was ineligible for such payment.
The charge is merely an accusation and Berbos is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
The investigation is being conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ann M. Hendrickson is prosecuting the case.
Berbos was released pending trial. A trial date has not been set.