Friday, February 13, 2009

North Dakota cattle buyer convicted in $7.8M scheme

The Billings Gazette reports:

A North Dakota cattle buyer who drove bankers around Eastern Montana showing them cattle he falsely claimed were his was convicted Thursday in a $7.8 million scheme to defraud banks. The jury deliberated about an hour and a half in the four-day trial before finding Todd Kenneth Horob, 40, of Williston, guilty of all seven counts in an indictment. The charges included false statements to a bank, bank and wire fraud, money laundering, bankruptcy scheme to defraud and aggravated identity theft. Testifying in his own defense, Horob claimed that other witnesses were wrong and denied providing false brand inspection certificates and other false documents to hide the fraud. Horob's scheme collapsed into bankruptcy, where he continued lying on his petition and in a deposition, Archer said. The investigation by the FBI found that Horob spent money loaned to buy cattle on other things and that he lost more than $2 million in the cattle futures market. Wells Fargo Bank, which loaned Horob $5.8 million, caught on and sent bankers searching for cattle Horob claimed to have purchased with the money, Archer said. "They didn't find cows," he said...

No comments: