More time: Judge postpones Easterday sentencing another six months


Shawn Goggins, iFiberOne (WA)

Jan 10, 2022


BASIN CITY - The Capital Press reports that Cody Easterday, a former rancher/owner of Easterday Farms has been given another six months prior to being sentenced for conning Tyson Foods out of over $200 million in a ghost cattle scheme.


Last Thursday, Federal Judge Stanley Bastian postponed Easterday’s sentencing to June 13, allowing the former cattleman six more of freedom as Easterday continues to tend to his bankruptcy dilemma. Bastian described the situation between Easterday, his creditors and fraud victim as “a mess.”


Easterday pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud on March 31 after bilking Tyson Foods out of $233 million. Easterday was supposed to provide Tyson cattle from his feedlot in Basin City, but over the course of several years, Easterday billed Tyson for animals that did not exist.


The Capital Press reports that the Justice Department objected to Easterday’s attorney’s motion to delay sentencing a third time, but...





WA Rancher Asks for Sentencing Delay

Washington Rancher Who Pleaded Guilty to 'Ghost Cattle' Scam Requests Sentencing Delay


By Todd Neeley, DTN/Progressive Farmer



LINCOLN, Neb. (DTN) -- A Washington state rancher who pleaded guilty to wire fraud has asked for another delay in his sentencing, telling a federal court he needs more time to continue to raise money to pay creditors in his ongoing Chapter 11 bankruptcy case.


Cody Allen Easterday could face up to 20 years in prison for defrauding Tyson Foods and another unnamed company of $244 million in costs for buying and feeding hundreds of thousands of cattle that didn't exist.


Easterday was scheduled for sentencing on Jan. 24 and has asked for a continuance for a third time to a date beyond April 28. A Jan. 6 hearing has been set on the motion in the U.S. District Court for the District of Eastern Washington in Spokane.


According to a declaration filed by Easterday's attorney, the now-former rancher has been working to sell off property in order to pay creditors. However, an agreement could not be reached by creditors on how to allocate the proceeds from those sales.


This has led to a lawsuit filed against Easterday, according to court records, which is set for trial beginning on April 28, 2022.


"Mr. Easterday does not seek to delay sentencing indefinitely and only desires to continue his good efforts to generate as much money as possible to reduce his restitution indebtedness," Easterday's attorney said in a declaration.


"The court should be advised that the resolution of this case occurred within an extraordinary quick time frame. The government first appeared in the investigation of this case in mid-January of 2021, and by March 31 the parties had negotiated and entered a guilty plea. Mr. Easterday has quickly accepted responsibility, is not seeking to delay sentencing for any other purpose other than to maximize asset value to reduce the amount of restitution owed."


The Easterday Farms property was sold to Farmland Reserve for $209 million after the company connected to the Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints outbid an investment company tied to Microsoft founder Bill Gates...