Preventing cattle fraud

FRESNO, Calif.

The company owes hundreds of cattlemen in dozens of states as much as $130 million.

Federal agriculture officials filed a complaint last month accusing Indiana-based Eastern Livestock Company of bouncing checks for livestock purchases and failing to maintain an adequate bond to cover its debts.

Some ranchers say an escrow system should be developed to make sure cattle buyers' checks clear before the animals are delivered.

Others say more oversight from the U.S. Department of Agriculture is needed.

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