My View From The Country

Eastern Livestock Saga Coming To A Sad End

Eastern Livestock’s founder garners another six years in federal prison.

Tom Gibson, the CEO and founder of Eastern Livestock, already had been sentenced to 10 years in prison for conviction on fraud. This week, however, he received an additional six years in federal prison for mail fraud. It relates to the check-kiting scheme his firm implemented as his business unraveled, and eventually leaving people holding bad checks for over $30 million.

Eastern Livestock was a major player and a long-time institution that had operated successfully for many years. Most people in the industry were caught by surprise when the financial difficulties and fraud occurred. They were surprised because it occurred in an up-trending feeder cattle market, and involved a long-established company that had operated successfully for years, and in tougher business environments

Through all the court cases and the like, there hasn’t been a real clear picture assembled to really explain how this all came to pass.  We may never know all the particulars, but there is no shortage of unanswered questions.


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Discuss this Blog Entry 4

on May 24, 2013

What is saddest is the fact that we can stop crooks from getting title to our cattle without paying us by going to an individual ID program. We need to do this, anyway, to help our access to international markets. Having a properly designed mandatory ID program would allow title to cattle to pass just like a tractor title passes. The new owner would not get title until the seller has good funds and all liens are paid. Crooks could not sell what they do not own.

Kenny (not verified)
on May 25, 2013

That way Obama's boys can do the same and we can pretend it's for the good of the country. If a brand doesn't do the job an electronic ear tag (like the 1000's that can be found infront of any working chute) sure as hell won't.

Anonymous (not verified)
on May 24, 2013

What is really needed is to establish sufficient bonding requirements. Period,

Until that is done, similar wrecks with a bunch of unlucky producers loosing their hard earned dollars will keep happening over and over again. Otherwise, repeated bitter experience has shown that handling all that money is just too tempting for some and that the current bonding requirements are woefully inadequate.

They always appear to be "good" guys that just got behind and their supporters believe that they really would have made it good if they had just been left alone to keep going a little longer. Not likely once that line is crossed. We require sufficient bonding (and the scrutiny that goes along with that) of many others, such as auto dealers, who handle lots of other people's money.

Why we put up with not requiring sufficient bonding in the livestock business I don't understand.

Anonymous (not verified)
on May 24, 2013

I'm going to go with greed.

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What's My View From The Country?

As a fulltime rancher, opinion contributor Troy Marshall brings a unique perspective on how consumer and political trends affect livestock production.


Troy Marshall

Troy Marshall is a multi-generational rancher who grew up in Wheatland, WY, and obtained an Equine Science/Animal Science degree from Colorado State University where he competed on both the livestock...

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