Office of the Attorney General
Eastern Livestock Victims Receive Additional $300,000 in Restitution
Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway and his Office of Special Prosecutions today announced the distribution of additional restitution checks to Kentucky farmers swindled by the now-defunct Eastern Livestock, LLC, based out of New Albany, Ind. The Office of the Attorney General last week issued 170 checks totaling $300,000 to farmers who received cold checks from Eastern after selling livestock at a Metcalfe County auction site. This brings to $600,000 the total amount of restitution collected and distributed to Eastern Livestock victims by the Attorney General's Office.
Restitution ordered for Eastern Livestock's victims totals more than $850,000. Additional restitution checks will be distributed in the coming months.
"My investigators and prosecutors have worked hard to bring this troubling matter to a successful close," General Conway said. "I am proud to say that we are on the road to recovering nearly every dollar lost by Kentucky farmers and have ensured that those responsible for this deception are being held accountable."
Eastern Livestock founder, CEO sentenced in Metcalfe Circuit Court
Eastern Livestock's founder and former Chief Executive Officer Thomas "Tommy" Gibson was sentenced today for his role in swindling Kentucky farmers out of nearly $1 million. Metcalfe Circuit Judge Phil Patton today sentenced Gibson to 10 years in prison, probated to run concurrently with any federal sentence received. The 71-year-old Gibson and Eastern's former Chief Financial Officer, 58-year-old Steve McDonald, were indicted in September of 2011 on a single charge of mail fraud in U.S. District Court in Louisville, Ky.
Gibson remains out of jail and under federal supervision while his case is pending in U.S. District Court.
Gibson and McDonald pled guilty in March in Metcalfe Circuit Court to one count of criminal syndication, engaging in organized crime, 17 counts of complicity to theft by deception over $1,000, 144 counts of complicity to theft by deception over $500/under $10,000 and 11 counts of complicity to theft by deception under $500.
As part of their guilty plea, Gibson and McDonald admitted to being part of an ongoing criminal collaboration of several people and/or entities between 2009 and 2010, the purpose of which was to commit on-going theft by falsely inflating the balances of Eastern Livestock bank accounts. By use of falsely inflated accounts and check kiting, Eastern and its principles continued to buy cattle from Kentucky producers with essential non-existent funds.
Two other former Eastern Livestock executives, Darren Brangers and Grant Gibson, were sentenced earlier this month to the maximum of five years in prison, withheld pursuant to pretrial diversion conditional upon full restitution to the named victims. Gibson's sentence includes terms which he will fund $680,000 worth of the total restitution, with Brangers responsible for funding $210,000.