The victory scored by Black farmers with the Senate’s unanimous approval of funds due to them in the 1980’s Pigford discrimination lawsuit has been mired by allegations of fraud.
The Senate approved the dispersal of as much as $50,000 to each farmer involved. But while John Boyd, president of the Virginia-based National Black Farmers Association, has stated to the House Judiciary Committee that according to his assessments there were 18,000 Black farmers due compensation, more than 90,000 claims for a share of the $1.25 billion payout have been filed.
As a result, a group of Republicans led by Steve King of Iowa and Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, claim that the settlement, which has the support of the Obama administration, was rife with fraud.
Republicans, who will soon take charge in the House after this month’s midterm elections, are now promising to do a thorough investigation on disparities surrounding who applied for the money and who is actually eligible to receive it.
According to estimates by the US Department of Agriculture and the FBI, 50 percent to 95 percent of the claims submitted may be fraudulent.