case study

Black Farmers Discrimination Litigation Settlement

In 1997 and 1998, two class-action lawsuits were filed on the behalf of Black farmers in the United States. The U.S. Department of Agriculture had systematically discriminated against Black farmers.

Key Statistics

$1.25 billion

Total fund amount



The Black Farmers Discrimination Litigation settlement resolves claims by African American farmers for racial discrimination by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in its farm loan program. We provided system design input and review process protocols for the neutrals, class counsel, and the claims administrator. We evaluated approximately 35,000 claims and the prepared preliminary determinations for consideration and approval by the court-appointed neutrals, 97% of which were confirmed by the neutrals and the USDA.

Fraud Prevention and Detection

Our team developed fraud methodology to identify fact patterns that were outside the scope of traditional farming operations and USDA loan types, as well as fact patterns that demonstrated commonalities between claim forms suggesting group preparation or sharing of common responses in an attempt to secure determinations of eligibility. We identified the associated fact patterns and claims, summarized the commonalities for review by the claims administrator, and flagged such claims meeting the established scheme markers.

Government Agency Coordination

We coordinated with the USDA, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), and the Office of Inspector General (OIG). The GAO and OIG were responsible for several audits of the program, and we worked directly with the offices to provide data regarding the evaluation of claims and the methodology for identifying potential fraud.

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