Witness Testimony in the Pasco Potato Farmers Trial
Witness testimony began today in the federal trial against the four Pasco potato farmers accused of forming an elaborate scheme to steal millions of dollars from the U.S. Government.
According to court documents, Lynn Olsen, Mark Peterson, Jeffrey Gordon and Blake Bennett allegedly falsified insurance claims for their crops in order to receive nearly $10 million dollars and created false contracts with three Pasco farming companies.
Those contracts agreed the companies would buy potatoes from the individuals, but the quality standards for the potatoes were exceedingly high and never met.
Because of that, the buyers only paid the sellers a fraction of the potatoes' value.
So the sellers then sent requests to their insurance companies to pay for the loss of revenue.
The court documents say the falsified contracts and claims took place between 2001 and 2006.
Jury selection was completed on Tuesday last week, and opening statements took place on Thursday.