EDMONTON — Two Eastern Livestock defendants will go forward without felonies on their record, while one more is guaranteed jail time.
Steve McDonald, Grant Gibson and Darren Brangers faced their last Metcalfe Circuit Court appearance Tuesday morning as they were sentenced for their parts in the Eastern Livestock fraud. Gibson, 48, and Brangers, 43, who are actively paying restitution, will avoid jail time and felony convictions. McDonald, 58, who is also charged in federal district court, will not know his jail sentence until the federal case is complete, as his circuit court sentence was set to run concurrent with his federal jail sentence.
All three defendants, as well as Eastern Livestock owner Thomas P. Gibson, pleaded guilty on March 27. Grant Gibson and Brangers pleaded guilty to amended charges of facilitation to criminal syndication and facilitation to multiple counts of theft by deception. Their felony convictions were diverted, but their records will show 172 misdemeanor convictions. McDonald and Thomas Gibson pleaded guilty to the full charges of criminal syndication and the counts of theft by deception. McDonald was sentenced to 10 years, set to run concurrent with his federal sentence. McDonald's jail sentence is probated until he is sentenced in the federal case. Thomas Gibson will be sentenced in Metcalfe court on June 26, and then the federal case will move forward to pursue sentencing of the two defendants at the federal level.
Press release info:
Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway and his Office of Special Prosecutions today announced the sentencing of three former executives of the now-defunct Eastern Livestock, LLC, based out of New Albany, Ind.
Barren-Metcalfe Circuit Judge Phil Patton sentenced Eastern’s former chief financial officer, 58-year-old Steve McDonald, accountant, 43-year-old Darren Brangers, and affiliate, 48-year-old Grant Gibson, for their roles in the criminal collaboration in which Kentucky farmers lost nearly $1 million. The sentences include terms that are expected to return, in the form of court-ordered restitution, all of the losses accounted for by the Attorney General’s Office in the indictment issued in September of 2010.
For his role, McDonald was sentenced today to a term of 10 years in prison, concurrent with any federal sentence received. The sentence will be probated at this time, until McDonald is sentenced in federal court. McDonald and former Eastern Livestock Chief Financial Officer and founder, 71-year-old Thomas “Tommy” Gibson, each still face charges in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky for their involvement in the Eastern Livestock fraud.
Darren Brangers, of Louisville, and Grant Gibson, of Lanesville, Ind., were each sentenced to the maximum five-year sentence, withheld pursuant to pretrial diversion conditional upon full restitution to the named victims. Brangers and Grant Gibson, who is also the son of Eastern founder and CEO Tommy Gibson, each previously pleaded guilty to facilitating the operations of a criminal syndicate run by Tommy Gibson and McDonald and to facilitating the several instances of theft committed by the co-defendants.
Grant Gibson’s sentence includes terms under which he will fund $680,000 worth of the total restitution, with Brangers funding $210,000 of restitution. So far, $500,000 of the restitution has been collected from Grant Gibson and $100,000 collected from Brangers.
Continuing distribution of restitution to approximately 170 victims will be handled by the Office of Attorney General. The Office of the Attorney General has identified all of the recipients and will be contacting affected farmers when plans have been finalized for the restitution distribution.
Tommy Gibson is scheduled for sentencing in Barren-Metcalfe Circuit Court on June 26.