The Department of Justice says a central Illinois farming business has paid $5.3 million to settle allegations it used fake partnerships to avoid limits on federal subsidies its owners could receive. The department says Dowson Farms of Divernon agreed to the out-of-court settlement but the terms do not include an admission of guilt. Divernon is about 15 miles south of Springfield. The department had accused Dowson Farms owners John Dowson, Chris Dowson and Darrel Thoma of using several limited partnerships to conceal parts of their ownership between 2002 and 2008. Employees and others were listed as the owners.
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