Guilty plea in Callaway Co. cattle theft scheme

A Smithfield, Nebraska man has pleaded guilty in federal court to a cattle scheme in Callaway County.

Allen John Foos, 47, of Smithfield, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Matt J. Whitworth on Monday to transporting stolen livestock across state lines.

Foos admitted that he used an alias to order cattle from the Callaway Livestock Center using order buyers (middlemen). In some cases, Foos obtained the cattle then sold them without paying the sale barn. In other cases, Foos eventually paid the sale barn for the cattle by using the proceeds from a later cattle transaction. The government contends that the amount of loss in the cattle scheme exceeded $200,000, including similar purchases made in other states.

For example, according to his plea agreement, Foos purchased 167 head of cattle using the alias of J&M Cattle Company of Shelton, Kan. A $116,944 check for payment bounced; although $49,995 was later paid by wire transfer, the remaining balance has never been paid. This is the transaction related to the specific charge contained in the April 4, 2011, indictment to which Foos pleaded guilty to.

Under federal statutes, Foos is subject to a sentence of up to five years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000 and an order of restitution. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

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