Bigfork Man Faces Federal Fraud, Money Laundering Charges

April 24, 2006

Former Bigfork businessman Myron “Mike” Felt faces federal charges of fraud and money laundering for allegedly defrauding insurance companies through his company, Crop Hail Management Inc.

Prosecutors say between June 2001 and April 2003, Felt, 77, devised a scheme to defraud insurance companies, reinsurance brokers and state agencies, according to information filed April 14 in U.S. District Court in Missoula.

No implication was made that any farmers suffered financial losses.

Court documents filed by Kurt Alme, assistant U.S. attorney in Billings, said farmers bought crop hail insurance policies through Felt’s company. Felt issued policies, but kept the premiums that many of them paid.

If a farmer made a claim on a policy, Felt’s company would submit the claim as if it were on a policy for which premiums had been paid.

The money-laundering charge is based on a transfer of a check for about $60,000 from a bank to Fagan Grain Inc., involving proceeds of wire fraud, Alme said.

Felt’s attorney, John E. Smith of Missoula, said he couldn’t comment on the case, other than “suffice it to say the whole story will be told as the case proceeds.”

The Flathead County sheriff’s office began the investigation, but it was turned over to federal authorities when it appeared Felt’s alleged malfeasance involved millions of dollars and several states.

Topics Fraud Abuse Molestation Agribusiness

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