Tulare County Sheriff's Office announces major cattle theft arrest that amounts to $1.5M in losses

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A modern-day cattle rustler is now behind bars in Tulare County. (KFSN)

Authorities are calling it a 21st-century cattle rustling scheme at the highest level after arresting Justin Greer of Exeter for grand theft, investment fraud, and embezzlement.

"This is a classic example of someone robbing Peter to pay Paul," said Tulare County DA investigator Jeff Gilbert.

Greer is accused of stealing hundreds of head of cattle for a total loss of $1.5 million.

The lengthy investigation lasted more than six months and included seven victims across California, Colorado, and Wyoming.

The 36-year-old was finally caught in Texas before being extradited to Tulare County on December 31.

"We will not tolerate people committing crimes against our Ag partners. We will find you. We will apprehend you we will prosecute you," said Sheriff Mike Boudreaux.

Red flags were raised in early 2017 when Greer failed to meet his financial obligations.

According to the Tulare County Sheriff's Office, victims learned the animals they had invested in either weren't Greer's to sell in the first place or the cattle never existed at all.

"When people began saying where are our cattle and they couldn't produce the cattle where is our money from the bills or profits we should have made nothing could be provided so that's when investigators got involved," said Boudreaux.

900 head of cattle have been recovered but authorities believe thousands more are lost.

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