RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Federal investigators have unraveled a massive scheme among dozens of insurance agents, claims adjusters, brokers and farmers in eastern North Carolina to steal at least $100 million from the government-backed program that insures crops.
Authorities say the ongoing investigation is already the largest such ring uncovered in the country.
Forty-one defendants have either pleaded guilty or reached plea agreements after profiting from false insurance claims for losses of tobacco, soybeans, wheat and corn. Often, the crops weren't damaged at all, with farmers using aliases to sell their written-off harvests for cash.
Prosecutors compared the case to ...