Asbury claimed to own 6,000 head of cattle worth $7 million on land he falsely claimed to lease, prosecutors say.
Kevin Ray Asbury, 44, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri to federal charges that he used his business, R&K Angus Ranch, to operate two fraud schemes from December 2006 to October 2008, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
According to the release, Asbury’s business solicited investors from around the country to finance purchases of cattle that he would raise and sell, promising investors a specific return. But, Asbury’s scheme included fraudulent statements about buying and selling the cattle, according to the release.
Asbury admitted that he began running low on funds in May 2007 to pay personal and business debts. He started running a Ponzi-style investment scheme, soliciting new investors with the promise of returns on cattle he would raise and sell but instead using those funds to pay debts and the “returns” he had promised to other investors. Asbury pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering in relation to the scam, which cost 27 investors around $5.1 million, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.
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