FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
MONDAY - February 11, 2008
SIX PLEAD GUILTY IN CROP INSURANCE FRAUD
AND MONEY LAUNDERING SCHEME
RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E. B. Holding announced that in federal court ROLAND D. MCCOY, JR.; JOSEPH EDWARD WILLIAMS, of Zebulon, North Carolina; ROBERT THOMAS VEASEY, of Durham, North Carolina; DAVID C. HARRISON, of Snow Hill, North Carolina; and WILLIAM EARL DAWSON along with his son, ROBERT LEMUEL DAWSON, both of Stantonsburg, North Carolina plead guilty before United States District Judge James C. Dever, III. The plea hearings occurred today.
Criminal Informations were filed on December 21, 2007 charging MCCOY, HARRISON, and VEASEY with conspiracy to launder money in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1956(h). WILLIAMS, WILLIAM EARL DAWSON, and ROBERT LEMUEL DAWSON were each charged with conspiring to make false statements, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371.
MCCOY, HARRISON, and VEASEY each pled to a Bill of Information alleging that they, along with others, engaged in a larger scheme to defraud crop insurance companies of funds ultimately reimbursed by the United States of America and to launder the proceeds of the underlying fraud.
Conspiracy to launder money in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1956(h) is punishable by up to twenty years in prison, a fine of $500,000 or twice the value of funds involved in the offense, whichever is more, and up to three years of supervised release.
WILLIAMS, WILLIAM EARL DAWSON, and ROBERT LEMUEL DAWSON pled to Bills of Information alleging they were part of a larger scheme to defraud crop insurance companies of funds ultimately reimbursed by the United States of America. Each Bill of Information further alleges their work with a Wilson, North Carolina tobacco broker to sell their tobacco in the names of other men in a fashion that worked to obscure the farmer's true tobacco production.
Conspiracy in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371 is punishable by up to five years in prison, a fine of not more than $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release.
United States Attorney George E. B. Holding said, "No one should regard the end of the tobacco quota program as a license to commit crop insurance fraud. These six guilty pleas reflect a long-term, multi-agency commitment to ensure the integrity of our agricultural markets."
Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Reginael D. McDaniel stated, “Pursuing those who commit insurance fraud and money laundering are top priorities for IRS-Criminal Investigation Division. We will continue to aggressively pursue high-impact cases that deliver this message.”
Investigation of the case was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation and the United States Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General. Assistant United States Attorney Joshua B. Howard served as prosecutor for the government.
News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.