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3 Farmers Facing Jail Time for Crop Insurance Fraud

Posted December 13, 2018 by Administrator

Tobacco Fraud Nets 60 Months Jail Time

Crop insurance fraud carries heavy penalties including steep fines and jail time. However, these deterrents don’t always work as intended. Crop insurance fraud comes in a variety of forms, and the following cases highlight some of the potential abuses.

Debra Muse of Willingford, Kentucky pleaded guilty to fraud on April 16, 2018. The judge sentenced her to 60 months of jail time as well as ordered her to pay $1,656,275 in restitution. She and several cohorts filed false claims with the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC) in an attempt to obtain insurance money without actual cause.

They did so by falsifying tobacco production reports, bills,and shipping documents. As a result, they received inflated payments from their insurers who then sought recompense from the federal government. Under federal law, Muse will have to serve 85% of her sentence (51 months minimum) before she is eligible for release.

LaGrange Farmer Receives 25-Month Jail Sentence for Fraud

On May 30, 2018, a judge sentenced James Wiggins, Jr. of LaGrange, NC to 25 months of jail time and ordered him to pay $5,600,433 for several offenses including identity theft, conspiring to commit money laundering, and making false statements to the FCIC. Wiggins and his co-conspirators filed false insurance claims as well as disaster relief claims and then engaged in illegal activities to try to conceal the fraud. They filed false claims alleging they lost crops to receive an insurance payout while selling the healthy crops in secret transactions.

Farmer Faces up to 30 Years per False Statement

Though not yet scheduled, Christopher Hickerson, a farmer from Lexington, KY is facing a ten-count indictment for making false statements to the FCIC. Dating back as far as 2009, Hickerson falsified his tobacco production while simultaneously claiming a significant amount of damage. Hickerson laid claim to tobacco produced by other farmers to inflate his claims. He also obtained crop insurance under other individuals’ names to capitalize on new producer insurance bonuses. For every false statement made to the FCIC, Hickerson faces 30 years in prison as well as a fine of $1,000,000.

As outlined above, crop insurance fraud is not worth the cost. At Cline Wood, we dedicate our time to helping farmers and other agribusiness leaders understand their insurance needs. To learn more about the risks facing your farm as well as how to protect against them, contact us.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh& McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions,conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

Developing an Effective Hazardous Materials Training Program

Posted April 19, 2018 by Erin

As the American economy has developed over the years, the transportation of hazardous materials has become a vital service to businesses and consumers alike.  These materials are used in so many ways, including cleaning our water, helping to grow our food, running our cars, and providing medicine to our families.  However, with these types of materials come significant safety risks (including chemical burns) – to truck drivers and anyone else who might come in contact with the materials.  In fact, #2 on OSHA’s Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards for 2017 involved improper communication and training as it relates to hazardous chemicals.1

As an example of hazardous materials training in action, just recently a tanker truck carrying hydrochloric acid was involved in an accident with a train in Pennsylvania.  According to news reports, the acid spilled onto the roadway and billowed into the air.  Another truck driver familiar with hydrochloric acid was working nearby when the collision took place.  He knew what to do, grabbed his safety equipment, and rushed to the scene to give the driver of the tanker truck an oxygen mask while getting him to safety.2

To take the first step toward preventing risk of injury and becoming a safe operation, we strongly encourage you to develop a comprehensive hazardous materials training program.  Whether it’s a program that you develop from scratch or an existing training program that you enhance, an effective training program has many benefits, including3:

  • Develops a strong safety culture
  • Heightens employee safety by helping employees protect themselves
  • Improves a company’s effectiveness, efficiency, and productivity
  • Increases employee skills
  • May prevent regulatory sanctions
  • Aids in ensuring safe and secure shipments of hazardous materials
  • Reduces likelihood of catastrophic events such as fire or spill
  • Provides employees with understanding of why compliance and safety are necessary

Please click HERE to review and download a free guide from the USDOT, and get started developing your program TODAY!  For questions on this topic or to request a safety consultation contact Cline Wood’s Safety & Risk Management Team at 888-451-3900 or safetrucking@clinewood.com.

 

Scott Dunwiddie
Director of Risk Management
Cline Wood, a Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC company

 

Sources:

1 “Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards”, https://www.osha.gov/Top_Ten_Standards.html, Accessed 3/28/18

2“What You Should Know: A Guide to Developing a Hazardous Materials Training Program”, U.S. Department of Transportation – Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

3 “Road reopens, residents allowed back in homes after train crashes into truck hauling acid”, https://www.wpxi.com/news/top-stories/road-reopens-residents-allowed-back-in-homes-after-train-crashes-into-truck-hauling-acid/711807985, Accessed 3/28/18

 

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

 

 

 

Attention all Kansas CDL Holders – Free Human Trafficking Training

Posted February 16, 2018 by Erin

KMCA is partnering with Truckers Against Trafficking to offer online webinar training on human trafficking. Beginning July 1, 2018, Kansas CDL holders must have certification on human trafficking training to renew their license. This online webinar is a fantastic way to get ahead of the curve to ensure you and your drivers have the required certification before your CDL expires. The training will educate and equip you to understand the human trafficking issue and, more importantly, empower you to take the steps necessary that could end up saving a life. There will be three opportunities to join an online webinar to get your TAT certification, this training is free to attend for everyone, but registration is required.

February 21, 2018 – CLICK HERE TO REGISTER – 8:30 a.m. Central Time

March 12, 2018 – CLICK HERE TO REGISTER – 2:30 p.m. Central Time

April 18, 2018 – CLICK HERE TO REIGSTER – 12:00 p.m. Central Time


Please Note: After registration a link for the training will be provided in a separate email notification from Truckers Against Trafficking.

Content is originally from Kansas Motor Carriers Association. Visit their page here.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

Preventing Slips, Trips and Falls

Posted June 26, 2017 by Erin

Sometimes all it takes is one time slipping on a wet surface to cause a debilitating injury to a worker’s back, a broken bone, or worse.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 800 work-related fatalities and over 300,000 total work-related injuries due to slips, trips and falls in 2015.[1]

Once an injury occurs, a worker is typically unable to work for an extended period of time, potentially meaning less income.  There could also be significant medical expenses and decreased ability to conduct your normal daily activities, making it difficult to take care of your loved ones.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

    1. ONLY WEAR STURDY, WATERPROOF WORK BOOTS
      This helps keep your feet dry and prevents them from slipping off most surfaces.  NO flip flops, slides, or sandals.
    2. MAKE SURE YOUR WORK BOOTS HAVE GOOD NON-SLIP TREAD
      This helps give you good traction in adverse weather conditions and prevents slips/falls.  If your work boots are old, chances are good the tread is worn down and it’s time for a new pair.
    3. MAKE SURE YOUR WORK BOOTS HAVE A STEEL SAFETY TOE
      This helps prevent injuries from bumps or items accidentally dropped on your foot.
    4. REVIEW YOUR SURROUNDINGS
      Look around you to see if there are any potential hazards, like potholes, water/snow on the ground, etc.
    5. USE THREE POINTS OF CONTACT
      When getting in or getting out of your truck or trailer, make sure you have either two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand making contact with the truck the whole time.  This helps ensure stability.

     

    If you follow these basic guidelines you will drastically reduce the chance of a slip, trip or fall type of accident.  Your employer and your family will also appreciate your efforts to work safer and come home happy and healthy at the end of the workday.

    If you should have any questions regarding the information above or would like to discuss other safety topics, please don’t hesitate to contact Cline Wood at 888-451-3900 or safetrucking@clinewood.com.

    [1] Sources: https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2016/4836-fatal-work-injuries-in-the-united-states-during-2015.htm; https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/osh2.pdf


    This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

NEW MMA MARKETLINK BENEFITS PROGRAM AVAILABLE

Posted November 10, 2015 by Administrator

Confused by all the changes in the healthcare industry? Want to know how much health insurance would cost you? Fill out a simple form and receive personalized quotes, matching you and your family’s needs for Health, Life & Supplemental Insurance. Click the MARKETLINK button below to learn more.

marketlink

Havor Lines’ driver manager wins TCA weight loss competition

Posted August 23, 2013 by Administrator

Havor Lines a Superior, Wis.,-based carrier, swept both the team and individual honors in the Truckload Carriers Association’s third Trucking’s Weight Loss Showdown. Keith Kitch, a driver manager at Havor Lines, was the individual winner, losing 22.4 percent of his body weight. The Havor team lost a total of 380 pounds, or 13.2 percent of their collective body weight. Each member of the team lost at least 5 percent of his or her own weight.

>>Read Full Trucking.com Article

Cline Wood University Article in Oklahoma Motor Carriers Magazine

Posted July 30, 2013 by Administrator

Cline Wood Agency, known for its commercial agribusiness and trucking insurance, has a new offering – Cline Wood University.

Cline Wood University covers various topics of interest related to the Trucking and Agribusiness industries.  It will be made available for all interested parties to view at any time at clinewood.com under the Cline Wood University tab.

Cline Wood recently held their first seminar, “New Hours of Service Changes – Impact on Driver Dispatch and Operations”, on April 18th with high attendance and excellent feedback from participants. The initial attendance was very strong and they expect this following to continue to grow. Cline Wood will be hosting these seminars on a monthly basis (look for a schedule of dates and topics at clinewood.com shortly). The goal of this program is to educate and inform our business partners on important topics and issues that impact our industry every day.

“I am looking forward to continuing the success of our first webinar,” said Tom Dickmeyer, CEO of Cline Wood Agency. “We saw the need to address critical issues and important topics. The attendance and positive feedback is exciting. We look forward to the opportunity to connect to those in the agribusiness and trucking industries to strengthen and build knowledge.”

For more information about Cline Wood Agency visit www.clinewood.com or call (888) 451-3900.

Founded in 1984, Cline Wood Agency serves as a national commercial property and casualty insurance agency focused exclusively on the two industries we know best; commercial trucking and agribusiness. Cline Wood Agency has three offices throughout the Mid-West with its headquarters at 4300 W 133rd Street, Leawood, Kansas. More information is available online at www.clinewood.com.


Oklahoma Motor Carriers Magazine is a part of the Oklahoma Trucking Association.

Cline Wood University is established

Posted May 22, 2013 by Administrator

Cline Wood Agency, which provides commercial agribusiness and trucking insurance, has a new offering: Cline Wood University.

This university covers various topics of interest related to the trucking and agribusiness industries.

>> Read Full Article “Cline Wood University is established” on Refrigerated Transporter

Cline Wood Agency Announces Web-Based Cline Wood University

Posted May 13, 2013 by Administrator

PRESS RELEASE

Leawood, KS, May 13, 2013: Cline Wood Agency, known for its commercial agribusiness and trucking insurance, has a new offering – Cline Wood University.

Cline Wood University covers various topics of interest related to the Trucking and Agribusiness industries.  It will be made available for all interested parties to view at any time at clinewood.com under the Cline Wood University tab.

Cline Wood recently held their first seminar, “New Hours of Service Changes – Impact on Driver Dispatch and Operations”, on April 18th with high attendance and excellent feedback from participants. The initial attendance was very strong and they expect this following to continue to grow. Cline Wood will be hosting these seminars on a monthly basis (look for a schedule of dates and topics at clinewood.com shortly). The goal of this program is to educate and inform our business partners on important topics and issues that impact our industry every day.

“I am looking forward to continuing the success of our first webinar,” said Tom Dickmeyer, CEO of Cline Wood Agency. “We saw the need to address critical issues and important topics. The attendance and positive feedback is exciting. We look forward to the opportunity to connect to those in the agribusiness and trucking industries to strengthen and build knowledge.”

For more information about Cline Wood Agency visit www.clinewood.com or call (888) 451-3900.

About Cline Wood Agency

Founded in 1984, Cline Wood Agency serves as a national commercial property and casualty insurance agency focused exclusively on the two industries we know best; commercial trucking and agribusiness. Cline Wood Agency has three offices throughout the Mid-West with its headquarters at 4300 W 133rd Street, Leawood, Kansas. More information is available online at www.clinewood.com.

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Cline Wood CEO quoted in “Inconsistent enforcement: CSA vs. the independent” ~Overdrive

Posted March 14, 2013 by Administrator

Inconsistent enforcement: CSA vs. the independent

Todd Dills | March 14, 2013
The truck of an independent owner-operator is four times as likely to get inspected as a truck running under the authority of carriers with more than 500 trucks, according to inspection data from the first two years of the Compliance Safety Accountability program. The likelihood of being placed out of service is three and a half times as great for independent drivers – and almost twice…

>> Read More

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