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A Colorado couple that owned two farms thought that cheating the system would be easy—sell some crops and claim that they were ruined by that summer’s weather. However, when the insurance policy is taken out just months before the supposed loss and the crops lost had no commercial value, things may start to look a little rotten.

In February of 2004, both Bigelow Associated Farms (BAF) and J.B. Farms (JBF), owned by husband and wife potato farmers Donald Boyd Bigelow and Janet Kerkman Bigelow, purchased crop insurance from Great American Insurance Company (GAIC). Later that year, the couple filed claims with GAIC citing weather-related losses; the two claimed they lost all of their “zero value production” potatoes, or those without any commercial value.

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