Florence man sentenced to 46 months in prison for farm assistance program fraud
Florence, S.C. (WPDE) —
A 45-year-old Florence man has been sentenced to 46 months imprisonment for conspiracy after being convicted of working with his wife to defraud a program designed to help struggling farmers.
Tyrone Goodrum was sentenced today, according to a release from United States Attorney Beth Drake, and he also was ordered to pay over $146,000 in restitution to the federal government.
He was convicted by a jury on November 8, 2016, and Goodrum’s wife, Roselyn, was sentenced to 27 months imprisonment in February 2017.
Evidence presented at the trial established that Roselyn Goodrum was in charge of the Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) Florence office from 2006 through 2014, according to the release.
In February 2014, Winter Storm Pax caused extensive damage to farms in the Pee Dee and, as a result, farmers could make claims to the FSA for financial assistance to clean up their land.
"Tyrone Goodrum conspired with his wife to file an application for payment, fraudulently representing that he was entitled to disaster benefits for a farm to which he had no connection. As a result, $18,500 in federal money was diverted to satisfy Tyrone Goodrum’s outstanding child support debt," the release said.
Overall, Roselyn Goodrum filed multiple false applications and illegally obtained just over $146,000, an amount for which Tyrone Goodrum, as a co-conspirator, is also responsible, the release said.
The case was investigated by agents of the United States Department of Agriculture, Office of the Inspector General, as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Winston Holliday, of the Columbia Office, prosecuted the case.