Archive for Thursday, September 6, 2001

Investors battle for cattle losses

September 6, 2001

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— A battle for the assets of Missouri man accused of selling the same cattle to more than one investor promises to pit private investors against banks, lawyers say.

The Omaha World-Herald reported last month that George L. Young's cattle businesses closed Aug. 10, and media reports have estimated losses at up to $100 million.

The newspaper reported there are claims to as many as 211,000 head of cattle, but only 16,000 can be found. The 16,000 head would be worth about $13 million when fattened for market. The 195,000 in missing cattle would be worth well over $100 million.

Young, of Grant City, Mo., met recently with investors. He said Tuesday through his attorney, Robert M. Cook, of Yuma, Ariz., that he supports paying the claims of 65 unpaid investors over those of bankers.

"I think there is a potentially titanic struggle shaping up between the investors on one side and those who lent money directly to Young on the other," said attorney David A. Domina, who represents a group of northeast Nebraska investors. "They are on completely opposite sides of the ledger."

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Kansas City, Mo., has taken control of the assets of Young and his two businesses Professional Business Services and United Livestock Services LLC.

The number and size of claims is not yet known, but some information is available in documents filed when creditors forced Young into bankruptcy.

One of the companies petitioning for the bankruptcy is U.S. Bank National Assn. of Omaha, which reported that it made a $13 million loan to Young in May.

Another petitioner, the Alfred Neuberger family of Overland Park, Kan., says it is owed more than $10 million and possibly as much as $15 million.

The largest group of unpaid investors is the northeast Nebraska group that Domina represents, Cook said in a statement. The group has about $33 million at stake.

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