A western Kansas farmer faces up to 30 years in prison after his guilty plea Monday to charges of crop insurance and bankruptcy fraud in federal court in Wichita, authorities said.
Kevin W. Struss, 63, of Wakeeney, pleaded guilty to one count of defrauding the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s crop insurance program, which provides government insurance against unavoidable crop losses, U.S. Attorney for Kansas Stephen McAllister said Tuesday.
Struss made false statements in which he under-reported his total 2015 corn crop by about 23,524 bushels and his total sorghum-milo crop by 31,208 bushels, McAllister said.
Additionally, Struss pleaded guilty to one count of bankruptcy fraud. He falsely answered “no” to a question in his bankruptcy filing about whether he had transferred property to anyone else recently, McAllister said. In fact, he made two transfers of $150,000 and $320,000 to another person in 2018, prosecutors said.
Sentencing is set for Jan. 21. Struss could face a sentence of up to 30 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $1 million on the crop insurance count. He also could face a sentence of up to five years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000 on the bankruptcy count.
Phil Anderson, [email protected]