By ERIC FREEDMAN
Capital News Service
LANSING — A Southwest Michigan grain farmer has been sentenced to prison for cheating the federal government of almost $525,000 through fraudulent crop insurance claims and misuse of marketing assistance loans. U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney ordered Leonard “Lenny” Kolberg Jr., who owned Kolberg Farms in Bangor, Van Buren County, to serve a year and a day behind bars. He had faced a maximum potential sentence of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Maloney also assessed $99,641 in restitution to the government, representing the unpaid loan balance. Court documents in the Kolberg case — some of them sealed — suggest a broader investigation into farm fraud is underway by the Inspector General’s Office of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.