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EASTERN LIVESTOCK FOUNDER RECEIVES 10 YEAR SENTANCE IN CATTLE FRAUD CASE
Business First reports:

Thomas "Tommy" Gibson, founder and former CEO of New Albany-based Eastern Livestock, was sentenced to 10 years in prison today in Metcalfe Circuit Court, according to a news release from Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway.

Gibson, 71, and Eastern's former CFO, Steve McDonald, 58, had pleaded guilty in March to one count criminal syndication, engaging in organized crime, 17 counts of complicity to theft by deception over $1,000, 144 counts of complicity to theft by deception over $500 but under $10,000 and 11 counts of complicity to theft by deception of less than $500,

As part of their plea, the men admitted to being part of an ongoing criminal collaboration between 2009 and 2010 that involved committing ongoing theft by falsely inflating the balances of Eastern Livestock's bank accounts. By use of falsely inflated accounts and check kiting, Eastern and its principals bought cattle from Kentucky producers with essentially non-existent funds, according to Conway.

Two other former Eastern Livestock executives, Darren Brangers and Grant Gibson, were sentenced earlier this month to five years in prison. But the sentence was withheld conditional on them paying restitution, with Grant Gibson to pay $680,000 and Brangers to pay $210,000, according to Conway.

So far, Conway's office has distributed $600,000 worth of restitution to Kentucky farmers swindled in the crime, according to a news release from his office. Additional restitution checks will be distributed in coming months.

"My investigators and prosecutors have worked hard to bring this troubling matter to a very successful close," Conway said in the release.

Thomas Gibson's 10-year sentence on the state charges is to run concurrently with any federal sentence he might receive. He and McDonald were indicted in U.S. District Court in Louisville in September 2011 on a charge of mail fraud, but that case is still pending.


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