A northeast Iowa livestock company and four managers have been sentenced in federal court in a scheme to defraud livestock producers throughout Iowa and the midwest.
Fifty-one-year-old Joe Wickham of Waucoma, 65-year-old Charlie Lynch of Waucoma and 60-year-old Leland “Pete” Blue of Fredericksburg pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud, while 31-year-old Tyler Thoms of Fayette pled guilty to one count of causing a livestock dealer to keep inaccurate accounts and records.
The charges came from their work with Lynch Livestock, where they were accused of downgrading cattle and manipulating scales to defraud customers during nearly two decades.
Wickham and Lynch were fined three-thousand dollars and Blue one thousand. Wickham was sentenced to six months in prison, while the others were each given probation.
The company was fined 196-thousand dollars and ordered to pay more than three million dollars in restitution.
story courtesy of Radio Iowa