A man from Missouri pled guilty in federal court to a wire fraud scheme that netted $2.4 million by falsely claiming the purchase of thousands of cattle that were under contract with a Texas business.
Dwight Moody Cox, 57, of Ozark, Missouri, waived his right to a grand jury and pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud on Dec. 12 before U.S. Magistrate Judge David P. Rush.
As the owner of Dwight Cox Cattle Company (DCCC), he provide cattle procurement services. These services included purchasing cattle and then placing the cattle on land owned or rented by Cox to be grazed. DCCC then shipped the cattle to the clients once a specific weight was achieved.
From 2009 to Nov. 30, 2017, Cox had a contract with Amarillo, Texas-based Texas Beef Cattle Company (TBCC). Throughout this time, Cox bought cattle from a number of sale barns and then cared for the cattle on the land he provided. Invoices were submitted by Cox to TBCC for all of the cattle purchased and he billed TBCC for feeding the cattle. Cattle were shipped to TBCC when they reached an agreed up weight. After that cattle would be sold by TBCC and the profits would be shared equally between Cox and TBCC.
The agreement started to turn when Cox submitted 35 different invoices between April 1, 2017, and Nov. 30, 2017. He claimed to have purchased 3,250 head of cattle and that they were grazing land similar to previous arrangements. For his service, TBCC sent a bank transfer payments in the amount of approximately $2,559,419.
TBCC officials reached out to Cox in February 2018 requesting the cattle to be shipped to their facility in Amarillo to sell the livestock. On Feb. 27, 2018, Cox reported to officials with TBCC that he could not deliver the cattle and that he only had 147 head of cattle. Cox then revealed that he had submitted false invoices to TBCC when asked where the remaining 3,100 cattle were at.
Cox fraudulently obtained $2,403,975 through his wire fraud scheme once the 147 head of cattle that had been received by TBCC and were accounted.
Under federal statutes, Cox is subject to a sentence of up to 20 years in federal prison without parole. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Carney. It was investigated by the FBI.
For more on other fraud cases involving cattle read the following stories:
Speaker Ryan: Trump Will Not Sign Funding Bill
UPDATE: Government Funding Stopgap Measure Moves to the House