Montana rancher sentenced in inflated cattle numbers case
The Associated Press and The Billings Gazette - September 1, 2018 10:30 am
(Information from: The Billings Gazette, http://www.billingsgazette.com)
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) – A Montana rancher accused of lying to a bank about the number of cattle in his possession was sentenced to two years in prison and ordered to pay more than $2 million in restitution.
The Billings Gazette reports 67-year-old Darrell Hatley of Miles City was sentenced Thursday in Billings federal court after pleading guilty in April to wire fraud.
According to court documents, Hatley started borrowing from Texas-based Capital Farm Credit in 2002 to cover expenses on his ranches in Oklahoma, Texas, Wyoming, and other states.
Hatley began giving the bank inflated cattle numbers in 2015, violating a condition of the loan. The rancher came clean when the bank attempted to verify the cattle last year.
Prosecutors say the rancher fraudulently obtained about $2.1 million by padding his cattle numbers.