Perpetrators falsely claim weather or insects destroyed their crops and cash in on a government-backed insurance program. Some don't bother planting at all. Others sell their harvests in secret.
The vast majority of U.S. farmers follow the rules, insurers and federal officials said. Bert Little, director of the data-mining group Center for Agribusiness Excellence, said that less than one-half of 1% of the farmers who take part in the program cheat the system.
“But that less than 1% represents a pretty big chunk of money, between $100 million to $200 million a year,” said Little, whose Texas group is contracted by the federal government to analyze farm records in search of fraud clues.
Phi Beta Iota: Bert Little has been saving the taxpayer millions at a 20:1 ratio (80 million discovered for 4 million in data mining–finding the 1% can be a challenge). He first briefed his successes at OSS '04. If we had the Open Source Agency as recommended by the 9-11 Commission, it would provide intelligence and counterintelligence to Whole of Government, addressing both the legal fraud (Wall Street) and the illegal fraud (inattentive government).