Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

August 11, 2011

Afternoon update: AG's office available in Glasgow for farmers affected by E. Livestock

Glasgow Daily Times

GLASGOW — Representatives from Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway’s office are spending Thursday and Friday at the Barren County government building meeting with farmers affected by the Nov. 2, 2010 Eastern Livestock sales at the Edmonton livestock market.

George Wilding, investigative manager for the department of criminal investigation within the attorney general’s office, has reserved the fiscal court chambers until 6 p.m. Thursday and from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday. His goal is to learn all he can about local farmers’ losses in the Eastern Livestock case.

“We’re just interviewing the individuals who sold their cattle (on Nov. 2) and a stop payment was placed on their checks so they have not received payment for the cattle they sold that day,” Wilding said.

The attorney general’s office contacted local farmers they knew suffered losses at the Edmonton livestock market in November and scheduled individual appointments, but not many people had visited Wilding as of Thursday afternoon. Wilding is hoping that as many local farmers affected as possible will be able to stop by the county government building on Thursday or Friday, so that the attorney general’s office can have a complete picture of the situation as they proceed with their investigation into Eastern Livestock. The floor is open to anyone who wants to talk, Wilding said.

Wilding and others from Conway’s office are in Glasgow “just to confirm farmers’ losses,” Wilding said, but confirming those losses is essential to the investigation. So far, it is still very early in the attorney general’s investigation, even though the bad sale occurred in early November, so no new information is available for farmers who received bad checks from Eastern Livestock.

“There’s been a lot of work done, but it’s so involved,” Wilding said.

Wilding cannot answer a lot of questions farmers may have, but he can reassure them that the attorney general’s office and the FBI are conducting a thorough investigation into Eastern Livestock in order to see how much money was lost and what can be done to reimburse those whose cattle was sold at the auction.

On Nov. 2, 2010, local farmers lost approximately $900,000 at the Edmonton livestock market when they sold their cattle to Eastern Livestock and received bad checks. An investigation began within days of the Edmonton market sale, but it was too late for local cattlemen. In January, the owner of Eastern Livestock filed for bankruptcy and the investigation and court proceedings are ongoing, for both a bankruptcy case and a criminal case.

Farmers who received bad checks for their cattle from Eastern Livestock can stop by the fiscal court chambers on the third floor of the Barren County government building on public square in Glasgow Thursday and Friday. If a farmer is not able to stop by, he or she can call the Kentucky attorney general’s office at (866) 524-3672.