Colby Man Convicted of Selling Mortgaged Cattle
WICHITA, KAN. – A Colby man has been convicted of selling cattle that were mortgaged to USDA’s Farm Service Agency and converting the money to his own use, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said today.
Travis L. Siebert, 26, Colby, Kan., was convicted in a jury trial on one count of conversion of mortgaged property. During trial, prosecutors presented evidence that Siebert received three loans totaling $115,000 that were used to purchase a bull, sixty cows and 90 feeder calves. The animals were pledged as collateral on the loan. In 2007, with approximately $84,000 remaining on the loans, he fell behind on loan payments.
From Dec. 17, 2007, to March 26, 2010, he engaged in the unauthorized sale of livestock. As part of his scheme, he sold livestock under the names of at least three other people and he went as far as Monte Vista, Colo., to sell the cattle. In May 2009, he created a corporation, Cow Heaven Ranch LLC, to sell cattle and pay himself.
Sentencing will be set for a later date. He faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000. Grissom commended Special Agent Laszlo Sagi, USDA, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Hart for his work on the case.