Tennessee, Kentucky Tobacco Farmer Sentenced for Second Crop Insurance Fraud

May 31, 2024

A Kentucky tobacco farmer has been sentenced to more than three years in prison after pleading guilty to crop insurance fraud, eight years after he was convicted of similar crimes.

David Manion, 61, who resides in Lafayette, Tennessee, and owns land in southern Kentucky, must also pay $9 million in restitution, fines and other costs, a federal judge in the U.S. District Court in Western Kentucky decided this week. In his plea, Manion also agreed to a lifetime ban on utilizing the federal crop insurance program.

Manion pleaded guilty in 2016 to defrauding the federal crop insurance program by overstating damage to his fields. He was barred from participation in the program for five years. But while that case was still unresolved, he recruited his adult children to make insurance claims on tobacco that Manion farmed, funneling some of the proceeds to Manion, according to court records and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Louisville.

One of Manion’s children was also prosecuted for the scheme and was fined. The man’s attorney had said Manion suffers from diabetes and should be allowed to stay out of prison.

Topics Fraud Agribusiness Tennessee Kentucky

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