1629 Monroe Drive, NE :: Atlanta, Georgia 30324
Phone 404.442.8834 :: Fax 404.442.8835
The Johnson Insurance Law Group, LLC
Complex Insurance Risks Counseling & Litigation

Farm Fire

A fire destroyed large agricultural storage buildings containing the Vidalia onion harvest at a large Georgia farm. After the insurer paid the claim, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) informed the insurer about a pending investigation of the farm’s owner. The ATF suspected the owner of being involved in drug trafficking as well as the building’s arson. The insurer retained our attorneys to investigate the loss and whether the insured had committed fraud. Our investigation revealed a conspiracy scheme to burn the farm to help finance cocaine distribution and to pay the insured’s debt to a bank. The U.S. attorney general ultimately indicted multiple individuals involved. We prosecuted the farmer and the bank in federal court for recovery of the insurance paid for the fire loss. We worked with forensic specialists and deposed dozens of witnesses, many jailed in federal prisons around the country. As a result, we obtained extensive evidence to prove at trial the conspiracy leading to the arson. On the eve of trial, the bank consented to pay the loss to settle the insurer’s fraud and arson suit.