By Dorothy Rowley, Special to the NNPA from the AFRO-American Newspaper –
The victory scored by Black farmers with the U.S. Senate’s unanimous approval of funds due to them in the 1980’s Pigford discrimination lawsuit has been mired by allegations of fraud.
The U.S. 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, stated to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee that, according to his assessments, there were 18,000 Black farmers due compensation with more than 90,000 claims have been filed for a share of the $1.25 billion payout.
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, is rife with fraud.
Republicans, who will soon take charge in the House after this month’s mid-term 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 U.S. Department of Agriculture and the FBI, 50 percent to 95 percent of the claims submitted may be fraudulent.
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