ALBANY, NY (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – A Dolgeville man has pled guilty in federal court on charges of crop insurance fraud.

According to United States Attorney Carla Freedman, 48-year-old Craig Spofford of Dolgeville claimed to lease and organically plant crops totaling over 500 acres of land, of which he did neither. In doing so, Spofford allegedly obtained $179,051 in benefits from a company that was reinsured by the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation. Spofford then falsely claimed to suffer losses on the three parcels of land totaling the same amount.

Spofford was charged with three counts of federal crop insurance fraud and ordered to pay restitution of $179,051 to the United States Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Wednesday, October 11 in United States District Court.

Spofford faces a maximum of 30 years in prison for each count of fraud. He would also face a fine of up to one million dollars, as well as a term of supervised release of up to five years.