Irrigation companies take plea bargains for inflated expenses - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Irrigation companies take plea bargains for inflated expenses

By James Clark - email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Three area irrigation companies admit to helping landowners submit inflated expenses to a federal agency.  Lamesa Irrigation, Mesa Irrigation of Lamesa, and New Home-Wilson Irrigation all admit to inflating the costs of participating in a U.S. Department of Agriculture conservation program. 

As part of EQIP, Environmental Quality Incentives Program, landowners can get reimbursed for 75%, or in some cases 90%, of the cost and lost income when leaving their land idle.  The companies admit to inflating the costs on invoices from 2005 through 2009. 

Each company separately agrees to pay $50,000 restitution as part of their plea agreements.  Court records say it is impossible to know the exact amount of money that was overbilled. 

No person is listed in court records as being charged.  Instead, the companies were charged.  In addition to the restitution, Lamesa Irrigation, Mesa Irrigation, and New Home Irrigation might be ordered to pay a fine.  

Copyright 2010 KCBD NewsChannel 11.  All rights reserved.

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