A fraud scheme that involved cash for crops while the same farmers made insurance claims for damaged produce has resulted in at least 41 people reaching negotiated pleas or simply pleading guilty to insurance fraud charges in North Carolina. The farmers involved had made fraudulent insurance claims for allegedly damaged products that included soybeans, tobacco, corn and wheat, but none of the involved products were actually unsellable.
Gary Martin, formerly of Asheville, set up Queen Shoals Consultants as a North Carolina limited-liability company in 2007. Through the company, Martin and several others accumulated investments totaling $28.5 million dollars. Those 'investments' were then funneled through a Ponzi scheme orchestrated by Sidney Hanson. Hanson was separately convicted of securities and wire fraud; he is serving a 22-year-prison sentence.