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Washington Man Pleads Guilty to $244 Million Ghost-Cattle Scam
A Washington man pleaded guilty to defrauding Tyson Foods Inc. (Tyson) and another company (Company 1) out of more than $244 million by charging them under various agreements for the purported costs of purchasing and feeding hundreds of thousands of cattle that did not actually exist.
According to court documents, Cody Allen Easterday, 49, of Mesa, used his company, Easterday Ranches Inc., to enter into a series of agreements with Tyson and Company 1 under which Easterday Ranches agreed to purchase and feed cattle on behalf of Tyson and Company 1. Per the agreements, Tyson and Company 1 would advance Easterday Ranches the costs of buying and raising the cattle. Once the cattle were slaughtered and sold at market price, Easterday Ranches would...
US Pork Supply Chain Locked in Limbo as Producers Await Legal Ruling
The US pork supply chain faces significant disruption in 2022, when California’s animal welfare regulations (Proposition 12) take effect. With less than 4% of US sow housing currently able to meet the new standard, Rabobank expects a shortfall in compliant pork to bifurcate the US market, leaving California with a severe pork deficit (and high prices), while generating a surplus in the rest of the US market.
“Producers are reluctant to make the costly investments needed to comply with the new regulation, unless compensated with long-term premium guarantees. Packer processors and end users are unwilling to enter into long-term supply arrangements, given outstanding legal challenges to the California rule and...
NAMI Asks Supreme Court to Review Case Against California’s Prop 12
The North American Meat Institute (Meat Institute) filed a petition for a writ of certiorari asking the Supreme Court of the United States to review an earlier ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in the Meat Institute’s challenge to the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 12: The Farm Animal Confinement Initiative (Prop 12 or the law). The Meat Institute opposes the law because it is unconstitutional and will hurt the nation’s food value chain by significantly increasing costs for producers and consumers. The petition may be found here, appendix here.
“Prop 12 hurts the family on a budget by causing higher prices for pork, veal and eggs, and unfairly punishes livestock producers outside of California by forcing them to...
NAMI’s Challenge of California’s Prop 12 Receives Key Support
The North American Meat Institute’s (Meat Institute) lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 12 (Prop 12) received key support from the federal government and 20 states with the filing of two amicus briefs.
The U.S. Department of Justice filed an amicus brief in support of the Meat Institute’s petition for rehearing en banc in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
In addition, the States of...
Tyson Foods Completes Waterloo Investigation
An independent investigation into wagering allegations at Tyson Foods’ pork plant in Waterloo, Iowa, has led to the termination of seven plant management employees.
“We value our people and expect everyone on the team, especially our leaders, to operate with integrity and care in everything we do,” said Tyson Foods President & CEO Dean Banks. “The behaviors exhibited by...
Tyson Foods Issues Statement on Waterloo Lawsuit Allegations
Tyson Foods, Inc. issued the following statement from Tyson Foods President & CEO Dean Banks in response to allegations made in an amended lawsuit involving the company’s pork plant in Waterloo, Iowa:
“We are extremely upset about the accusations involving some of the leadership at our Waterloo plant. Tyson Foods is a family company with 139,000 team members and these allegations do not represent who we are, or our Core Values and Team Behaviors. We expect every team member at Tyson Foods to operate with...
Pilgrim’s Announces Agreement with DOJ Antitrust Division
Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation today announced that it has entered into a plea agreement with the United States Department of Justice Antitrust Division in respect to its investigation into the sales of broiler chicken products in the United States. In the plea agreement, which is subject to the approval of the United States District Court of Colorado, Pilgrim’s and the Antitrust Division agreed to a fine of $110,524,140 for restraint of competition that affected three contracts for the sale of chicken products to one customer in the United States. The agreement does not recommend...
Cal-Maine Foods Lawsuit Dismissed in State of Texas
Cal-Maine Foods, Inc. issued the following statement regarding dismissal of the State of Texas lawsuit alleging that the Company engaged in price-gouging during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The Company’s motion to dismiss was granted on August 13, 2020, in the District Court of Harris County, Texas, and therefore the original petition has been dismissed with prejudice. We are grateful the Court dismissed with prejudice all claims brought by...
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