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Archive for Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Federal charges filed in cattle scam

April 21, 2009, 11:37 a.m. Updated April 21, 2009, 3:18 p.m.

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An Overbrook man faces federal charges for defrauding a Jefferson County cattle ranch, prosecutors said.

Dennis Stebbins, 57, was charged in a superseding indictment with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and money laundering, four counts of bank fraud, and four counts of money laundering, Acting U.S. Attorney Marietta Parker’s office said.

Prosecutors said Stebbins and Jay Wagner, 38, of Oskaloosa, defrauded the owners of J Bar Ranch between 2003 and 2008.

The ranch owners made an agreement with Stebbins to buy cattle and required they be examined by a veterinarian, prosecutors said. As part of the agreement, Stebbins would be reimbursed for his costs, plus a fee of $2 to $3 a head, prosecutors said.

“Stebbins conspired with Wagner to fraudulently increase the actual average weight and actual average cost of the cattle … and to fraudulently create documentation that the cattle had been examined by a veterinarian,” said Jim Cross, Parker’s spokesman.

Stebbins appeared in U.S. District Court on Tuesday and was released from custody on a $25,000 recognizance bond, Cross said. He’s scheduled to return to court May 29.

In August, Wagner pleaded guilty in the case to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and money laundering, prosecutors said. He’s scheduled to be sentenced July 7.

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