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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Missouri

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Cape Girardeau County Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Charges Involving Crop Insurance Fraud

Cape Girardeau, MO – Bobby David Lowrey pled guilty to multiple charges involving federal crop insurance fraud, theft of government property and wire fraud.

According to court documents, Bobby David Lowrey owned and operated farms and related businesses in Parma, New Madrid County, Missouri, including Bobby David Lowrey Farms, Lowrey and Lowrey, Inc. of Parma, Missouri, John Radin Farms and Kathy Ellsworth Farms.

Bobby David Lowrey placed farms in other people’s names in order to obtain Direct and Counter-cyclical Payment Program proceeds that he was not eligible to receive under the federal government’s crop insurance program.  The investigation disclosed that John Radin, the alleged operator of Radin Farms, was employed by Bobby David Lowrey and not actively engaged in farming and did not have any financial interest in the farming operations. Lowery made false statements to the United States Department of Agriculture pertaining to the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation and Direct and Counter-cyclical Payment Program. 

From 2007 to 2012, Bobby David Lowrey obtained $240,367 in Direct and Counter-cyclical Payments in the name of John Radin Farms.  Additionally, $207,729 worth of Multiple Peril Crop Insurance Indemnities, premium subsidies and administrative subsidies were paid on behalf of John Radin Farms between 2008 and 2012. 

The investigation also disclosed that between 2006 and 2011, Bobby David Lowrey transmitted by wire “Extended Work Search Waivers” to the Missouri Division of Employment Security and reported that his employees were on a temporary layoff when in reality they were still working and being paid.  The transmissions made to the Missouri Division of Employment Security resulted in more than $60,000 worth of unemployment Insurance benefits being paid to employees that they were not eligible to receive.

Bobby David Lowrey, Parma, MO, pled guilty to two felony counts of making false statements regarding crop insurance benefits, one felony count of theft of government property and one felony count of wire fraud before United States District Judge Stephen N. Limbaugh, Jr., in Cape Girardeau. Sentencing has been set for August 16, 2016.

These charges carry penalties ranging from 5 to 30 years in prison and or fines up to $1 million.  In determining the actual sentences, a judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.

This case was investigated by the United States Department of Agriculture-Office of Inspector General-Investigations, Missouri State Highway Patrol-Rural Crimes Investigative Unit and United States Department of Labor-Office of Inspector General-Investigations. Assistant United States Attorney Anthony L. Franks is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Updated May 17, 2016