Cattle Buyer All Hat, No Cows

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BILLINGS, Mont. – A North Dakota cattle buyer who was convicted of lying about his assets to get almost $8 million in loans from a South Dakota credit union and a bank has been sentenced to 11 years in federal prison.

Todd Horob, who was convicted of bank fraud, bankruptcy fraud, money laundering and aggravated identity theft, was ordered to pay $6 million restitution to Dakota West CU and Wells Fargo Bank.

Horob, who had formed H&J Livestock LLC, originally was sentenced to 11 years in December 2009, but had to be re-sentenced after a U.S. appeals court reversed two of his seven jury convictions on appeal. A federal judge said the same sentence was appropriate given Horob's conduct and his total lack of remorse. Horob had “little if any respect for the law,” he said.

Horob borrowed more than $2 million from Dakota West CU, based in Watford City, N.D. He used his partner’s personal checking account with Wolf Point FCU to launder money, prosecutors said.

In one instance, Horob used Johnson's account to redirect a Wells Fargo loan of $950,000 to buy 775 stock cows to pay off a loan of $858,543 that the company had at Dakota West. But no cows were purchased. In another loan, Horob got $950,000 from Dakota West to buy 1,276 steers and provided the credit union with a fake buyer's bill for the purchase. Horob used most of the money for purchases unrelated to livestock.


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