Kansas Farmer Pleads Guilty to Nearly $500K in Crop Insurance Fraud

Federal officials say a Kansas farmer has pleaded guilty to federal charges of crop insurance fraud and bankruptcy fraud.

U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said Kevin W. Struss, 63, Wakeeney, Kan., pleaded guilty to one count of defrauding the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s crop insurance program. He also pleaded guilty to one count of bankruptcy fraud.

Strauss 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.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Department of Agriculture say Strauss 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. He also lied in his bankruptcy filing about whether he had transferred property to anyone else. In fact, federal authorities say, he made two transfers of $150,000 and $320,000 to another person in 2018.

Sentencing is set for Jan. 21.

McAllister commended the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan Metzger for their work on the case.

Source: U.S. Attorney’s Office