Kansas farmer pleads guilty to crop insurance fraud

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A 63-year-old Kansas farmer pleaded guilty Monday to federal charges of crop insurance fraud and bankruptcy fraud.

Kevin W. Struss of Wakeeney pleaded guilty to one count of defrauding the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s crop insurance program, which provides government insurance against unavoidable crop losses. He made false statements in which he under-reported his total 2015 corn crop by approximately 23,524 bushels, and his total sorghum/milo crop by 31,208 bushels.

Struss also pleaded guilty to one count of bankruptcy fraud. He falsely answered “no” to a question in his bankruptcy filing about whether he had transferred property to anyone else recently. In fact he made two transfers of $150,000 and $320,000 to another person in 2018.

Sentencing is set for January.  Struss could face a sentence up to 30 years in federal prison and a fine up to $1 million on the crop insurance count. He could face a sentence of up to five years and a fine up to $250,000 on the bankruptcy count.

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