On June 14, 2001 the U.S. District Court for the Eastern
District of Arkansas entered judgment against Larry Reed & Sons Partnership
for $291,059.50 and an additional $5,000 civil fine against Larry Reed, Darrell
Reed and Joey Reed. The case was tried to a jury in Jonesboro, Arkansas,
Honorable Stephen M. Reasoner presiding.
The jury found that each of the Reeds and their
partnership submitted false cotton crop insurance claims for the 1993 crop year
and awarded $93,686.50 damages to the U.S. against the partnership. Pursuant to
the False Claims Act under which the Reeds were sued, the damages were trebled
and a $10,000 fine was assessed by the Court against the partnership in addition
to the $5,000 amount fined against the Reeds.
At trial, the U.S. introduced false seed receipts
submitted by the defendants with their cotton crop insurance claims and relied
on infrared satellite photos that indicated that more than 80% of the 998
insured acres were not plowed by the claimed planting date.
This case was investigated by the U.S. Department of
Agriculture-OIG and the Southern Regional Compliance Office of the Risk
Management Agency in Dallas, Texas.
The U.S. was represented by Doug Chavis with the U.S.
Attorney’s Office in Little Rock. The Reeds were represented by Joe Rogers of