If someone had asked me to make a list of the topics I expected to deal with when I took on the crime beat four years ago, I’m fairly sure cattle fraud wouldn’t have made it.
Perhaps I was naïve. I also never expected to cover lawsuits over copyright violations in the magic industry or the potential carcinogenic value of talcum powder, but those stories happened, too.
Today’s story on a Parkston farmer overcharged for cattle whose origins still cannot be determined isn’t on quite the same level of odd, but it was new for me.
As two people said in today’s story, the fraud involved a complex scheme and a lot of mendacity from a lot of different directions.
Here’s some court paperwork that outlines the case against a Watertown farmer, a long-term friend who lied to the state on his behalf and the Iowa trucking company that shipped the cattle. The facts here formed the basis of last week’s $1.1 million award for 71-year-old Curtis Huether.