Four Central Kentucky Men Indicted For Crop Insurance Fraud and Money Laundering
LEXINGTON, Ky. – According to court records unsealed today, four men from Carlisle, Kentucky were indicted on June 6, 2018, for engaging in crop insurance fraud and money laundering-related offenses.
A federal grand jury in Lexington returned a twenty-count indictment charging 34-year-old Bradley Price, 27-year-old Brandon Price, 57-year-old Jimmy Price, and 58-year-old Lonnie Brierly with multiple counts of making false statements to influence the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (“FCIC”) and companies the FCIC reinsures; one count each of committing a conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States; and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.
The indictment alleges that as early as 2009, the Prices and Brierly, all agricultural producers in Bourbon and Nicholas Counties, falsely understated their tobacco production to insurance companies, in order to claim damage to their crop and receive insurance indemnity payments to which they were not entitled. These indemnity payments are funded by the federal government, through the FCIC. For this conduct each defendant is charged with multiple counts of making false statements to influence the FCIC. The indictment also charges each defendant with conspiracy to commit crop insurance fraud. According to the indictment, the Prices and Brierly sold the tobacco they falsely claimed not to have produced, and, working with others, “hid” this production by making it appear as if the tobacco they sold had been purchased from Clay’s Tobacco Warehouse instead of produced on their respective farms.
Finally, according to the Indictment, the Prices and Brierly conspired with each other and others to launder the proceeds of the sales of their hidden tobacco by funneling money through Farm Credit Mid-America, an agricultural lending cooperative, in violation of federal money laundering statutes.
Robert M. Duncan, Jr., United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky; Karen Citizen-Wilcox, Special Agent in Charge, United States Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General; Amy Hess, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation; Christopher Altemus, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation; and Dwayne Depp, Director, Kentucky Department of Insurance Fraud Investigation Division, jointly announced the Indictment.
The investigation preceding the indictment was conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General, United States Department of Agriculture Risk Management Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, and Kentucky Department of Insurance. The indictment was presented to the grand jury by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kathryn M. Anderson and Erin M. Roth.
A date for the Prices and Brierly to appear in court has not yet been scheduled. For each charge of making false statements to the FCIC, the Prices and Brierly face up to 30 years in prison and a fine of $1,000,000. For the conspiracy to violate federal law charge, each faces up to 5 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. For the remaining money laundering charge, each faces 20 years’ imprisonment and a $1,000,000 fine. However, any sentence following a conviction would be imposed by the Court, after its consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statutes.
Any indictment is an accusation only. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.