The NY Times has done an amazing job of uncovering the fraud in the Pigford scheme, a scheme which is being carried out on the backs of US taxpayers. The Pigford case was first exposed by Andrew Breitbart and it was ignored by the media, but everything Breitbart said has been proven correct, ironically, by the NY Times.
Anyone unfamiliar with the case can get a summary at the NY Times but here is some of what they said:
Farmers routinely borrow money to carry themselves from high-cost planting season to harvest time; lack of credit can lead to barren fields. The original lawsuit, Pigford v. Glickman, filed in federal court in Washington in August 1997, argued that the Agriculture Department’s credit bureau, now called the Farm Service Agency, routinely denied or limited loans to black farmers while freely distributing them to whites.
Two government reports that year found no evidence of ongoing, systemic discrimination. The Government Accountability Office reported that 16 percent of minority farmers were denied loans, compared with 10 percent of white farmers, but traced the difference to objective factors like bad credit. An Agriculture Department study also found “no consistent picture of disparity” over the previous two years.
But the study concluded that decades of discrimination before then had cost African-American farmers significant amounts of land and income. Black farmers gave heart-rending accounts of loan officers who withheld promised money while crops withered, who repossessed their land and sold it to white cronies, who advised them to milk cows for white farmers rather than sow their own crops…keep reading
The Times research of the Pigford settlements “was based on thousands of pages of court and confidential government documents, as well as interviews with dozens of claimants, lawyers, former and current government officials and others involved in the cases over the past 14 years.”
THE FINDINGS OF THE NY TIMES
The Pigford scheme began in 1999 with Clinton who wanted to make sure his state of Arkansas profited.
Originally there were only 91 defendants (10 women, 81 Hispanics) who could have been considered on a case-by-case basis and some of which were questionable because they never made a loan payment in their lives. Even though the government would have won against the filers, most of which are fraudulent, they decided to settle and give our money away.
Critics and some of the original black farmers want to know why the government is allowing this blatant fraud.
A $50,000 payment for each black farmer who applied became a magnet for fraud.
Law firms who stood to gain, some congressmen, and racial politics took the sweeping approach this unnecessary settlement took and made it into a runaway train.
So far, 90,000 people have applied and the costs are now up to $4.4 billion.
The settled claims were rife with fraudulent claims. Nursery school children applied; many claims were in the same handwriting; and so on. Lawyers’ aides filled out forms for many and put their own answers down.
People are still collecting if they “think” they were biased against and little documentation is required and that is thanks to Judge Friedman who expanded the possible recipients to include those who “only attempted to farm.” It guaranteed claimants would receive a $50,000 cash payment.
Obama, with the help of Tom Vilsack USDA Secretary, added $1.15 billion and encouraged new false claims from blacks, Hispanics, and Native Americans. They took the money out of a special Treasury fund, the Judgement Fund, to sidestep congress. Congress can’t do a thing about it.
Mr. Obama joined with a bipartisan group of congressmen to reopen the case, which was supposed to end in 1999 to allow late-filers who heard about the freebies. It established Mr. Obama as a fighter for rural black Americans. The Obama administration set aside $1.33 billion for not just the 91 claimants but also for anyone who might turn up. The deal was fashioned by the Obama administration over the objections of career lawyers and agency officials.
In 2010, the settlement was opened to Hispanics and women with the help of Sen. Menendez who is now under investigation for corruption in another case.
A contentious settlement with Native Americans for $760 million far outweighed the costs and $400 million is in the hands of plaintiff’s lawyers to distribute to nonprofits for Native Americans.
“Accusations of unfair treatment could be checked against department files if claimants had previously received loans. But four-fifths of successful claimants had never done so. For them, ‘there was no way to refute what they said,” said Sandy Grammer, a former program analyst from Indiana who reviewed claims for three years. ‘Basically, it was a rip-off of the American taxpayers.’” [NY Times quote]
Filers still do not have to document claims to collect.
Thousands of blacks and women are giving their money to organizations under the belief that they would be eligible for the $50,000 payout. This is due in large part to Thomas Burrell, a charismatic orator and the head of the Black Farmers and Agriculturalists Association, based in Memphis. He claims he does much of it pro bono and does not condone fraud.
However, in one speech alone he told black farmers about the windfall they could reap even though black farmers are no longer eligible. He also did not tell black women they are only eligible as women not as blacks. Mr. Burrell and his sisters each collected the $50,000, something he brags about.
Mr. Burrell ended this speech with, “Let’s get the judge to go to work writing them checks! They have just opened the bank vault.”
The benefits of this fraud are the votes it buys from minority groups. It also redistributes wealth. Finally, it serves as retribution for past wrongs committed by citizens 100 to 200 years ago, something the majority of Americans are opposed to. The way this is set up, fraud is encouraged. It has also promoted the entitlement – social justice – society.
People have to decide the “why” for themselves. There is a lot of circumstantial evidence and it all points to a fraud perpetrated on the American taxpayer. We fought a revolution to avoid this corruption.
What Breitbart is saying can be read here.