SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) – South Dakota isn’t known for its potato farms, so when a potato farm with an address in Sioux Falls is included on the disaster loan list Economics (EIDL) of the Small Business Administration, it stands out.
KELOLAND News noticed this when she searched for four fact sheets containing more than 7,000 lists of EIDL loan recipients in South Dakota. Farms or registrations with firm in the name of the loan recipient were the main focus.
At least $ 128,000 of fraud was linked to three bogus potato farms. Another $ 85,000 was linked to two bogus tomato farms. At least an additional $ 42,600 was linked to an apparently fraudulent potato farm.
The potato and tomato farms were not the only source of fraudulent farm loans.
Fake farms from Pierre to Sioux Falls have raised over $ 800,000 in fraudulent loans.
The map includes the SBA list and the number of sites. To search for sites, click here.
While reviewing EIDL listings for possible agricultural fraud, KELOLAND News also uncovered several other fraudulent loans on behalf of individuals or other businesses.
In total, around $ 1.2 million in fraudulent loans were discovered during the primary search for possible farm fraud. At least 29 cases of fraud have been discovered.
Those who attempted to obtain loans fraudulently used the names and / or addresses of residents or former residents of South Dakota. Addresses included business or residential sites, for example.
A KELOLAND investigates Angela Kennecke’s story speaks with some of the people whose names and / or addresses have been used to file bogus loan applications. The victims range from small business owners to university professors and a retired couple.