FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
TUESDAY - December 8, 2008
TWO SENTENCED IN CROP INSURANCE FRAUD
AND MONEY LAUNDERING SCHEME
RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E. B. Holding announced that in federal court today ROLAND D. MCCOY, JR., of Zebulon, North Carolina and ROBERT THOMAS VEASEY, of Durham, North Carolina were sentenced for their participation in a crop insurance fraud and money laundering scheme. Both defendants have been cooperating in the on-going investigation of federal crop insurance fraud in Eastern North Carolina. United States District Judge James C. Dever, III, recognized their cooperation and sentenced MCCOY to five years probation and a fine of $50,000. VEASEY received a sentenced of three years probation with a fine of $25,000.
Criminal Informations were filed on December 21, 2007 charging MCCOY and VEASEY with conspiracy to launder money. On February 11, 2008, MCCOY and VEASEY pled guilty to the allegation 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.
An integral part of the conspiracy was the sale of tobacco in nominee names in order to conceal the actual farmers’ true tobacco production totals. The nominees received money in exchange for the use of their names as the actual grower, thereby facilitating false federal crop insurance claims by the actual farmers. VEASEY allowed a Wilson, North Carolina tobacco broker to sell tobacco in his name and further helped convert the proceeds to cash. For his party, MCCOY, a farmer, worked with another tobacco broker to sell his tobacco in the names of other persons to hide his true tobacco production.
United States Attorney George E. B. Holding said, "Those who commit crimes of greed, such as this scheme, will not be tolerated. The vigorous prosecution of this case has resulted in a satisfactory outcome regarding these defendants. My office will continue to work diligently to prosecute these types of crimes.”
Jeannine A. Hammett, Special Agent in Charge, IRS-Criminal Investigation Division stated, “Money laundering is not a victimless crime. The defendants committed insurance fraud and then laundered the money to hide the source. IRS-CI will continue to aggressively pursue high-impact cases that deliver this message.”
There have been eleven other persons charged in connection with the scheme to defraud the Federal Crop Insurance Program. Those defendants have been sentenced or are awaiting sentencing in the upcoming months.
Investigation of the case was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation and the United States Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General. This case is being handled by the Office’s Economic Crimes Section, with Assistant United States Attorney Banumathi Rangarajan assigned as prosecutor.
News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.