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COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A federal judge has sentenced a Tabor City farmer for his role in a tobacco insurance fraud scam.

The judge sentenced Patrick Rex Lovett, 48, to five years probation and nine months house arrest. He also must pay a $10,000 fine and forfeit $160,696.

Prosecutors say Lovett structured 22 currency transactions totaling $160,696 with banks to evade the legal obligation to report currency transactions worth more than $10,000. They say six of the transactions, worth $49,118, were related to the sale of hidden tobacco, which were not reported to the US Department of Agriculture or on Lovett’s tax returns.

The US Attorney’s Office says the case is part of the ongoing investigation of multi-million-dollar crop insurance fraud in Columbus County.

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7 Comments on "Tabor City farmer sentenced for insurance fraud scam"

2015 years 9 months ago

No one should be jailed over a plant. Not even tobacco.

2015 years 9 months ago

What kills me is how this (CCRES) person said farmers make “so much money”. At one time, yes. They did. How many farmers do you see these days in THIS county and the surrounding counties that only farm as their sole source of income without a side job? Not too many. At State and local level, farmers are subject to an unbelieveable amount of taxes, including income, sales, and property taxes. Besides taxes, when crops are sold and then labor is paid, operating loans paid off, equipment payments and repairs are made, fertilizer and chemicals paid for, etc…farmers are left with very little. The federal government has no regard or respect for our rual farmers and most are doing all they can to make ends meet and a lot of them, like this man you’re bashing have little mouths to feed and finding it harder and harder to on a farmers income. Most of the time it’s a family business that’s been in operation for several generations and farming is all these people know. They have no other trade to turn to and with all the new tax reforms that have come about in the past 10 years or so, unless you are an outrageously large farming operation, it’s almost impossible to make it. Yes, crop insurance, money structuring, etc is wrong because these are laws made by our wonderful government, it’s extremely unfair to these farmers for the federal government to tax and tax and tax every little thing. Some of this fraud was indeed fueled by greed and I have opinions on some of the big fish, the “masterminds” in these schemes, particularly this case, who’ve thrown everything off on others and think they are going to come out on top, people like THIS man aren’t “bad” people, they made some bad decisions. They didn’t feel they were hurting anyone, weren’t taking food from anyone’s table, were just trying to survive. How does this type of insurance fraud effect the white collar worker? Very little if any so why are you so upset? Why not worry about the almost $300 billion paid out in welfare every year that YOU pay for? Why not worry about real criminals. Drug dealers, murderers, child molesters, etc…and get them off the streets. OR let’s worry about the 80-some billion dollars WE the tax payers pay keeping those criminals comfortable in prison with cable TV and access to the internet and libraries because we are a “humane” nation. SO, “CCRES”, whoever you are, you’re right….our government IS a joke…but next time you sit down to your next meal, think about where that food came from and what you’d do without our farmers. They are a dying breed and some of the hardest working people in the United States. From the sound of it you know nothing or very little about farming or this situation. Maybe you need to give opinions on something you know a little something about.

2015 years 9 months ago

To the comment above, shut your trap! You obviously do no know the individual involved nor do you know what the story behind this case!

2015 years 9 months ago

That is a slap on the wrist. Just think how much he has sold for years and never got caught. That is why they continue doing it. The money they make is worth more than the penalty. Government is a joke.

2015 years 9 months ago

a forsenic accounting investigation? Where each financial transaction is followed from start to finish? Where every dollar is tracked and accounted for.

That is what this investigation entailed.

And once completed, and guilt is proven, a prime focus for the Department of Insurance is restitution — taking away the ill gotten gains, if any.

Send him to jail and the inability for the convicted to pay a fine and make restitution disappears.

This was a non-violent incident. No guns fired. No people hurt.

How do you justify jail time for this when violent criminals get a suspended sentence and probation? When was the last time one of the Creekwood shooters, who survived his meeting with the law, got an active jail term or wore a house arrest anklet?

When someone is dead, he is unaware of that; and only those around him are impacted. Same holds true when 1 is stupid.

Michelle Coleman
2015 years 9 months ago

So prison time is what this man should get? Is that what you are saying?

2015 years 9 months ago

You are the only person I have ever seen that would be too stupid to become a farmer! My father is a wonderful, hardworking man and you need to back off of him because he works harder in a day than you will in a month so leave him alone farmers get screwed over by the government more than enough but everyone on welfare doesn’t have to take any crap from the government for sitting around having children for money and stupid crap like that now leave him alone!


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