Potato Growers + Kennewick Insurance Agent Found Not Guilty of Federal Fraud
After a trial that lasted over six weeks, four Mid-Columbia potato growers were vindicated for allegedly trying to defraud the federal government over insurance.
Lynn J. Olsen II, Blake T. Bennett, Mark G. Petersen, Jeffrey J. Gordon, and Fred F. Ackerman had faced charges they overvalued their potato crops knowing they would get a lower price from their contracts; and falsely claimed heat damage caused the potatoes to not meet the terms of their growing contracts.
The jury was unable to reach a verdict on several charges and eight others were dropped by U.S. District Court Judge Ed Shea during the process of the trial.
The suit had claimed they conspired to collect more than $9.6 million in insurance payments, according to reports.