Farmer gets prison for crop insurance fraud
May 3, 2017
MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin -
A Wisconsin farmer will spend six months in federal prison for crop insurance fraud.
Jeffrey W. Lewke, 39, of Beaver Dam, was sentenced Thursday in U.S. District Court, where Judge Pamela Pepper also ordered him to serve six months of house arrest and pay nearly $24,000 in restitution.
According to the U.S. attorney's office, Lewke filed a nearly $250,000 in insurance claims during the 2011 crop season, saying he watered 120 acres of land in Waushara County more than he actually did.
He also claimed excessive moisture prevent him from planting on properties on which he never tried to plant or had already planted corn. In addition, he claimed he grew corn in Dodge County instead of Clark County, saying he was entitled to another $70,000 in insurance payments.
Jeffrey W Lewke
- Age: 39
- Address: N6891 Hidden Valley Dr
- City: Beaver Dam
- State: WI
- Zip Code: 53916
MADISON, Wis. (WSAW) -- A Beaver Dam farmer was sentenced to six months in federal prison after he was convicted of making fraudulent crop-loss insurance claims.
According to a news release from the Department of Justice, Jeffrey W. Lewke, 39, fraudulently submitted $246,606.53 in claims in 2011.
Court documents state Lewke claimed he was unable to plant a number of properties due to excessive moisture. Prosecutor state some of those property were planted, and one was a horse pasture. Lewke was also convicted of shifting production by claiming he produced corn in Dodge County, when the corn was actually produced in Clark County. Investigators said by doing so he claimed $70,000 in insurance payments.
At Lewke’s sentencing hearing, District Judge Pamela Pepper described the federal crop insurance program at as a “safety net” for farmers in need, from which Lewke stole while he was enjoying the financial success of farming over 12,000 acres in Wisconsin during the 2011 crop season.
Beaver Dam farmer charged with crop insurance fraud
Action Reporter Media 12:59 p.m. CT May 28, 2015
A federal grand jury returned an indictment Wednesday charging a Beaver Dam farmer with nine counts of crop insurance fraud, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice. The indictment was announced by U.S. Attorney James L. Santelle of the Eastern District of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.
Jeffrey Lewke, 37, operated a large farming operation, farming as many as 12,000 acres in Wisconsin during 2011 and 2012.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, through the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation, provides insurance to farmers for unavoidable crop losses. The FCIC provides insurance by reinsuring private crop insurance companies for losses claimed by their policy holders.
According to the indictment, from 2009 through 2013, Lewke knowingly devised and executed a scheme to defraud a crop insurance company that was reinsured by the FCIC in a number of ways.
Lewke was charged after a long-term investigation by the USDA-Office of Inspector General.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.