Spink County Rancher Pays Government For False Drought Claim
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – A Spink County rancher has settled with the government over a false claim for federal drought aid.
Authorities say Jason Sparling, of Athol, submitted an application for a disaster payment for a loss of grazing during the summer of 2014, and received nearly $100,000.
The federal Agriculture Department later determined that none of Sparling’s cattle were on drought-stricken pasture land.
U.S. Attorney Randolph Seiler says Sparling has paid the federal government $180,000 to settle the debt under the False Claims Act. Seiler says people who knowingly submit false claims are required to pay back more than they received.