Farmer Avoids Jail on Insurance Fraud

Minnesota Farmer Sentenced to Supervised Release on Guilty Plea to Crop Insurance Fraud

Todd Neeley
By  Todd Neeley , DTN Staff Reporter
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Minnesota farmer Kevan Jon Nelson was sentenced to time served and will not serve jail time for crop insurance fraud. (DTN file photo)

LINCOLN, Neb. (DTN) -- A Minnesota farmer who pleaded guilty to crop insurance fraud will not spend time in prison.

Kevan Jon Nelson, 68, a Lake Park, Minnesota, corn and soybean farmer, was sentenced to supervised release and ordered to pay fines and restitution totaling nearly $570,000.

According to a document filed by the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota on Thursday, Nelson could have received a five-year prison sentence if not for his cooperation with authorities.

The court did not provide details about the supervised release. U.S. attorneys indicated in a court filing in recent weeks, however, that Nelson's punishment should include some "custodial component" such as home confinement as a condition of probation.

Nelson already has paid $348,695 toward the restitution amount, according to court documents. Nelson was sentenced on March 24.

As part of a plea agreement, Nelson is required to pay restitution to the Federal Crop Insurance Corp. on a charge that could have carried up to 30 years in prison and more than $1 million in fines.

In addition, Nelson has agreed to forfeit eligibility for any federal program administered, authorized or funded by USDA, including by the Risk Management Agency, the FCIC and the Farm Service Agency.

As part of the presentencing, Nelson's attorney provided the court more than 30 emails and letters from friends and family in support of his character.

According to Nelson's memorandum, he has several health conditions that could have been further complicated with imprisonment.

Nelson was charged in September 2021 after allegedly reporting false information to the FCIC in 2018.

According to court documents, in 2018 and 2019, Nelson "falsely reported losses in those years to obtain crop insurance payments to which he was not entitled, resulting in his receipt of $548,695 in fraudulent payments." As part of the plea agreement, Nelson is to repay the amount to the FCIC.

Nelson falsely certified to ARMtech Insurance Services that he was "entitled to $117,740 for corn and soybean crops lost to excess moisture in Becker and Clay counties, Minnesota, all in violation of title 18, United States Code, Section 1014," according to the agreement.

Read more on DTN:

"Minnesota Farmer Seeks Probation,"…

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Todd Neeley