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Oswego cattle trader banned for life after repeated violations of livestock laws

FILE - (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)
FILE - (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)(Nati Harnik | AP)
Published: May. 12, 2022 at 10:18 AM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (WIBW) - An Oswego cattle trader has been banned for life and ordered to pay a heft fine after repeatedly violating federal livestock laws.

The U.S. District Attorney’s Office for the District of Kansas says a federal court has fined, John Rife, of Oswego, a repeat violator of statutory regulatory federal livestock laws under the Packers and Stockyards Act.

The Office also said the District Court imposed a lifetime ban against Rife, a trader, for his violations of federal law and for breaking previous orders entered by the federal court.

Court records indicate Rife did not defend allegations filed by the U.S. for various violations of federal law, which include:

  • Operation on a dealer basis of cattle transactions with a suspended registration
  • Operation without an adequate bond
  • Failure to maintain records and make records available to federal inspectors
  • Violations of the federal court’s prior 2012 and 2017 orders which imposed penalties and injunctive relief against Rife for similar conduct

During a hearing, the Office said the U.S. argued Rife’s operation as a cattle dealer and market agency without registration, bonds, or maintenance of records potentially jeopardizes the financial integrity of the cattle markets.

The U.S. also indicated Rife’s failure to comply with federal law impaired the government’s ability to investigate and prevent the spread of disease.

Court records show Rife was ordered to pay the U.S. 15% of $1,799,168.50 in new and reinstated penalties - equal to $269,875.27. The remainder will be set in abatement in case of future violations.

The District Court also ordered a lifetime ban against Rife which bars him from engaging in any further business within the USDA’s jurisdiction for which registration and bonds are required.

The Office noted that the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Marketing Service, Packers and Stockyards Division investigated the case as the Office and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Steven Brookreson and Christopher Allman prosecuted.

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