Cattleman Sentenced for Million-Dollar Fraud

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) _ An eastern Kansas cattleman has been sentenced to five years in federal prison for fraudulently selling off more than $1.3 million worth of cattle.

Kevin R. Thompson of Richmond pleaded guilty in April 2007 to one count of illegally selling off cattle at WNK Cattle Co. from March 2002 to December 2003. He was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court at Kansas City, Kan.

Thompson's company sold grazing pasture to farmers to boost the cattle's weight before sale. In his plea, Thompson admitted to selling off cattle without authorization and not giving the profit to owners in five states.

He sold cattle at sales in Fredonia, Kan., Springfield, Mo., and Carthage, Mo.

U.S. Attorney Eric Melgren said Thompson lacked experience with large herds, and turned to fraud after getting into financial trouble.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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