RALEIGH — A 63-year-old Lumberton farmer pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to fraudulently collecting more than $1 million in crop insurance, according to a statement from U.S. Attorney Thomas G. Walker.
Harry Dean Canady pleaded guilty to conspiracy to make false statements, making material false statements, committing mail and wire fraud, making false statements to the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation, aiding and abetting false statements to the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation, aggravated identity theft, money laundering and aiding and abetting money laundering.
The statement said that Canady fraudulently collected $1,036,516 of federal crop insurance. No sentencing date was announced in the statement.
According to Walker, Canady owned and rented farmland throughout Robeson County and grew tobacco, corn, wheat, soybeans and other crops. The statement said that from August 2006 through December 2009 Canady and others conspired to commit fraud by filing false insurance claims reporting losses, not reporting sales of tobacco and other grains, and hiding illegal profits in other people’s names.
The statement said that Canady was being paid twice for each pound or bushel of his crop through the false insurance claims and through the sale of “hidden” tobacco or grain.
Canady used the names of his grandchildren and fictitious names to hide some of his crop production and sales, according to the statement. He also worked with co-conspirators to sell crops “under the table,” hiding the sales from authorities.
Canady also pleaded guilty to retaliation against a federal official, the statement said. Canady became aware he was under investigation in 2008 and made threats against investigators. According to the statement, on Jan. 23 of this year, Canady threatened to kill a special agent of the United States Department of Agriculture.
Canady also pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm by a felon. During a 2010 search of Canady’s property, lawmen found six firearms and more than 180 rounds of ammunition.
In 1998, Canady pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the death of his brother, who he ran over with a pickup truck after the two got into a fight. That sentence was suspended.