Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Rancher Running Ghost Cattle Scheme Loses Two Lawsuits Against Tyson Fresh Meats

  Former eastern Washington rancher Cody Easterday's legal pursuit against Tyson Fresh Meats has ended as a federal court dismisses two lawsuits filed by the man convicted of wire fraud and serving an 11-year prison sentence in Los Angeles for conducting a so-called ghost-cattle scheme.

Easterday pleaded guilty to perpetuating a so-called "ghost cattle" scheme for billing Tyson to the tune of $233 million for raising cattle that didn't exist. Court documents show Easterday conducted the scheme in an attempt to make up for losses he sustained in the futures market.

At the end of October, the U.S. District Court for the District of Eastern Washington dismissed a January 2023 lawsuit by Easterday alleging Tyson Fresh Meats owed him money for breach of contract from selling his beef.

Easterday alleged the company never paid for the use of his name and likeness as part of a joint venture that involved the marketing and selling of premium beef from his ranch. The former rancher told the court Tyson owes him about $100 million.

The court issued an order Oct. 31, 2023, granting Tyson's motion to dismiss that case.

"Either way, plaintiff has failed to allege sufficient facts to show there was a meeting of the minds regarding the terms of the alleged oral contract," the court said...more

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