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    The Pigford settlement for minority farmers is a massive fraud


    The U.S. government is paying a settlement for discriminating against minority farmers

    In 1999, the federal government agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit, Pigford v. Glickman,  against the U.S. Department of Agriculture. summarized what happened:

    For years, black farmers had complained of discrimination in the awarding of USDA farm loans, debt restructuring and crop payments. In 1997, following a USDA-commissioned investigation that validated these complaints, a class-action lawsuit was filed by Pigford seeking damages and relief. On April 14, 1999, Judge Paul L. Friedman of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia approved a settlement agreement and consent decree in Pigford v. Glickman.

    So, the government admitted that it had wrongfully discriminated against black farmers, and a federal judge set the terms of the settlement -- indicating that the case did indeed address wrongdoing.

    While the possibility of fraud exists in any government program, the Pigford settlement contained safeguards that resulted in the rejection of a significant number of people who filed claims. In one of the major categories of claims, 31 percent of adjudications had been denied through the end of 2011, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service.