Former Ranch Employee Accused of Digital Cattle Rustling in Texas

01:52PM Sep 07, 2018
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A former ranch employee in Texas has been accused by federal authorities of allegedly selling cattle over the Internet that were not his to sell.

On Aug. 21, a grand jury indicted Stewart Kile Williams on four counts of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.

According to court records, Williams pleaded not guilty to the charges and was granted bail of $50,000 bail with a 10-percent deposit by U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald G. Morgan.

Williams is alleged to have defrauded Jones Alto Colorado Ranch, his former employer, via fraudulent cattle sales to Wyatt Ranches of Texas resulting in a profit for himself.

Jones Alto Colorado Ranch is located in Encino, Texas. However, the court case is being held in Brownsville because the ranch’s corporate headquarters are located there.

Court records indicate that the Jones Ranch sold cattle to the Wyatt Ranch in 2015. The transfer of cattle was managed by Williams. It is alleged that Williams told the Jones Ranch that the Wyatt Ranch wanted to purchase additional cattle. However, this was not true and Williams proceed to send emails using another person’s identity in an effort to back up his claim that the Wyatt Ranch wanted more cattle.

Four emails sent on Sept. 6, 2016, are being used as evidence of the alleged wire fraud.

Included in the emails were the following information:

  • Falsified cattle invoices
  • Fraudulent invoice
  • Five falsified attachments related to ranch leases
  • Falsified purchase order

According to the indictment it is not explained how Williams profited from the fraudulent cattle sales.