Wasilla Woman Sentenced To Six Months Community Confinement, Five Years Probation, and 240 Hours of Community Service For $72,560 Federal Grant Fraud
Anchorage, Alaska — U.S. Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced today that a Wasilla woman was sentenced in federal court in Anchorage for two counts of making false claims to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Crystal Jean Boze, 39, of Wasilla, Alaska, was sentenced today by Chief U.S. District Judge Timothy Burgess to five years of probation, including six months’ community confinement, 240 hours of community service, and restitution in the amount of $61,415.
According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrea Hattan, who prosecuted the case, Boze’s company, Green Winter Farms LLC (a farming company located in Palmer, Alaska), was awarded a $72,103 grant by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in 2012, and a $49,689 grant by USDA Rural Development in 2013. The grants required Boze to pay for items in advance, then seek reimbursement from USDA. Boze was also required to certify that each claim for reimbursement was accurate. Prior to submitting the false claims at issue in this case, USDA personnel explicitly told Boze that advances of grant funds were not permitted.
Nevertheless, three times between February 2013 and June 2013, Boze knowingly made and presented three false and fraudulent claims to USDA seeking payment of USDA grant funds. In support of each of her false claims, Boze also knowingly presented false and fraudulent purchase invoices as supporting documentation for each claim. The USDA disbursed a total of $48,610 to Boze before her fraud was discovered. Boze’s fraud also caused a $12,805 loss to a small Colorado vendor from which Boze obtained grant funds to purchase a green house, but failed to pay. As part of her sentence, Boze must pay full restitution, plus post-judgment interest, to both USDA and the Colorado vendor.
U.S. Attorney Loeffler commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the USDA for their investigation of this case.