LEXINGTON, Ky. - Three Carlisle, Kentucky farmers admitted in federal court Thursday, before United States District Judge Karen Caldwell, that they committed crop insurance fraud-related offenses.
Bradley Price, 34, pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit money laundering. According to his plea agreement, Bradley Price farmed tobacco in Nicholas and Bourbon Counties and carried federal crop insurance covering those crops in at least 2013 and 2014. During those two years, Price admitted to working with individuals identified as E.P. and R.W. to hide his crop production from his crop insurance company. The scheme involved Bradley Price providing his tobacco to E.P. to sell and then writing a check for that sales price to Clay’s Tobacco Warehouse. In this way, it appeared that Bradley Price had purchased the tobacco he sold through E.P. from Clay’s Tobacco Warehouse, and Bradley Price never reported this crop production to his insurance company. R.W. then wrote checks covering the price of the sale that tobacco, and E.P. applied 70 percent of those checks to Bradley Price’s bank account, keeping the 30 percent as his payment. This meant that Bradley Price was paid for his crop production, while also receiving an insurance payment from his crop insurance company for damage to that same crop.
Jimmy Price, 57, and Brandon Price, 27, both pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit crop insurance fraud. According to their plea agreements, Jimmy Price farmed tobacco in Nicholas and Bourbon Counties, and Brandon Price farmed tobacco in Nicholas County. Both carried federal crop insurance covering their tobacco in at least 2013 and 2014. In those years, both admitted to engaging in the same scheme as Bradley Price with E.P. and R.W., except that Jimmy and Brandon’s plea agreements state that Bradley Price handled concealing the scheme, after providing Bradley Price with blank checks drawn on their respective bank accounts.
All three defendants are scheduled to be sentenced on January 22, 2020. Bradley Price faces up to 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $500,000 or twice the amount of loss. Jimmy and Brandon Price face up to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the amount of loss. However, any sentence will be imposed by the Court, after its consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal sentencing statutes.
Robert M. Duncan Jr., United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky; Bethanne M. Dinkins, Acting Special Agent in Charge, United States Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General; James Robert Brown, Jr.,, 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 guilty pleas.
The investigation 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 United States was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Erin M. Roth and Kathryn A. Anderson.
— END —