Florence man sentenced for filing false insurance claims for farm disaster relief

FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) – A Florence man has been sentenced to prison for illegally collecting money from the federal government – money that was intended to help farmers with disaster recovery.

United States Attorney Beth Drake announced the sentencing on Wednesday, May 10. Tyrone Goodrum, age 45, of Florence, has been sentenced to 46 months imprisonment for Conspiracy (a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371).  He also was ordered to pay over $146,000 in restitution to the federal government.

Goodrum was convicted by a jury on November 8, 2016.  United States District Judge R. Bryan Harwell of Florence presided over the case.

Goodrum’s wife Roselyn was also convicted in connection to the case. In February 2017, she was sentenced to 27 months imprisonment.

The following is from a press release from the South Carolina District of the U.S. Attorney’s Office:

Evidence presented at the trial established that Roselyn Goodrum was in charge of the Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) Florence office from 2006 through 2014.  In February 2014, Winter Storm Pax caused extensive damage to farms in the Pee Dee.  As a result, farmers could make claims to the FSA for financial assistance to clean up their land.  Tyrone Goodrum conspired with his wife to file an application for payment, fraudulently representing that he was entitled to disaster benefits for a farm to which he had no connection.  As a result, $18,500 in federal money was diverted to satisfy Tyrone Goodrum’s outstanding child support debt.  Overall, Roselyn Goodrum filed multiple false applications and illegally obtained just over $146,000, an amount for which Tyrone Goodrum, as a co-conspirator, is also responsible.

The case was investigated by agents of the United States Department of Agriculture, Office of the Inspector General, as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Assistant United States Attorney Winston Holliday, of the Columbia Office, prosecuted the case.

In November 2016, the South Carolina District of the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Tyrone Goodrum’s conviction of conspiracy after a two-day trial in Florence. The following is from the press release sent from the office of Beth Drake:

On September 1, 2016, Tyrone Goodrum’s wife, Roselyn, pled guilty to participating in the same conspiracy.

Evidence presented at the trial established that Roselyn Goodrum was in charge of the Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) Florence office from 2006 through 2014.  In February 2014, Ice Storm Pax caused extensive damage to farms in the Pee Dee.  As a result, farmers could make claims to the FSA for financial assistance to clean up their land.  Tyrone Goodrum conspired with his wife to file an application for payment, fraudulently representing that he was entitled to disaster benefits for a farm to which he had no connection.  As a result, $18,500 in federal money was diverted to satisfy Tyrone Goodrum’s outstanding child support debt.  Overall, Roselyn Goodrum filed multiple false applications and illegally obtained just over $146,000.

Ms. Drake stated the maximum penalty for Conspiracy is imprisonment for 5 years and/or a fine of $250,000.

The case was investigated by agents of the United States Department of Agriculture.  Assistant United States Attorney Winston Holliday, of the Columbia office,  prosecuted the case.