Thursday, March 14, 2024

Ranchers convicted of tampering with rain gauges to defraud the federal government


The group allegedly damaged rain gauges located in Springfield, Ordway, La Junta, Walsh, and Ellicott, Colorado, and others in Syracuse, Coolidge, and Elkhart, Kansas. Wires were cut, funnels to rain collectors were filled with silicone, holes drilled or punched in collectors, parts of collectors were disassembled, and objects such as cake pans or pie tins were placed over the gauges during rainstorms. 


The scheme was designed to benefit [the conspirators] through ... crop insurance, the Rainfall Index Annual Forage Insurance Plan, which is one of several agriculture subsidies administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Federal Crop Insurance Program.

Also, one of the conspirators escaped from prison and was found dead.