Two and a half years since local farmers received cold checks in exchange for their cattle, and more than a year after company executives entered guilty pleas to theft, 90 Kentucky and Tennessee farmers are still in court seeking justice in the aftermath of a fraud scandal that engulfed much of the U.S. livestock and farming industries.
For local farmers, it started on Nov. 2, 2010. Cattle farmers took their livestock to the Edmonton Buying Station and sold them to Eastern Livestock LLC, not realizing they were receiving cold checks as payment. They later found out that Eastern Livestock’s creditor, Fifth Third Bank, had uncovered a check kiting scheme put in place by the livestock company’s executives. The bank cut off Eastern Livestock’s line of credit without warning, causing nearly $900,000 worth of checks written to Edmonton Buying Station sellers to bounce. While the Kentucky attorney general’s office pursued criminal litigation against the company executives, and succeeded, attention has now been turned to the bank’s executives.
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