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New Mexico man found guilty fraud associated with USDA program

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A man in New Mexico man was convicted for a scheme tied to a USDA program.
A man in New Mexico man was convicted for a scheme tied to a USDA program.

Although there are programs from the U.S. Department of Agriculture designed to help farmers, there are those who might try and take advantage of the help.

Recently, a New Mexico man was found guilty of fraud related to aid programs offered by the USDA. Bill Melot faces a maximum sentence of 49 years and a fine of up to $2.85 million.

Melot provided the USDA with fake Social Security and Employer Identification numbers to collect aid provided by the government. He also owes the Internal Revenue Service $18 million in taxes.

The indictment against Melot also said he tried to conceal ownership of 250 acres in the state by forging deeds and manipulating the titles for the property.

"The evidence further showed that Melot used false Social Security Numbers and fictitious Employer Identification Numbers to hide his assets from the IRS," the U.S. Department of Justice said.

The USDA provides a variety of assistance programs via the Farm Service Agency, which can help users of agricultural equipment when facing the results of a natural disaster. Some of those include the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments program and the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program.ADNFCR-2034-ID-19745090-ADNFCR

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