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GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN - U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge announced today that Douglas Edward Diekman, 55, of Mendon, Michigan, was sentenced to 13 months in federal prison for committing crop insurance fraud. He was also ordered to serve two years of supervised release and pay $488,432.86 in restitution. U.S District Judge Paul Maloney imposed the sentence.
Diekman pled guilty to conspiring with Michael Stamp of Stamp Farms to defraud the federal crop insurance program. Diekman admitted that he illegally obtained crop insurance for approximately 1,000 acres of farmland he rented to Stamp Farms. Diekman did not farm the land and had no ownership interest in the crops. Nevertheless, he falsely certified that he had a 100% ownership interest in the crops and falsely certified that he had crop losses. When Stamp Farms declared bankruptcy and was unable to pay rent for the farmland, Diekman kept a crop insurance indemnity payment to which he was not entitled.
U.S. Attorney Birge said, "This office will continue to vigorously prosecute people like Mr. Diekman who defraud taxpayer-funded programs such as the federal crop insurance program."
Manny Muriel, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit's IRS Criminal Investigation, stated, "IRS Special Agents and our Federal Law Enforcement partners will continue to work tirelessly to bring to justice those who attempt to defraud programs that are backed by taxpayer funds. We will not tolerate those cheating the system in efforts to deepen their own pockets at everyone else's expense."
The case was investigated by the United States Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General, with assistance from the Risk Management Agency’s Compliance Investigators, and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division. Clay Stiffler handled the prosecution.