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Livestock Operators to Pay for Inferior Cattle

FAYETTE, Mo. (CN) - Five operators of a livestock sales company must pay $804,000 in restitution and can never sell cattle in Missouri again, state Attorney Gen. Chris Koster announced. The five were accused of charging farmers from Missouri and surrounding states $1 million for high-quality and bred cows, but instead delivered inferior cattle that were thinner, different breeds and not bred.

Chariton County Associate Circuit Judge Michael L. Midyette made the ruling against Mitchell J. Leonard, Peggy Morrow, Lance Neff, Robert Simmons and Jason Hackman.

"This puts an end to a massive fraudulent scheme perpetrated on livestock farmers here in Missouri and in some of our neighboring states," Koster said in a statement. "Our first priority was to try to restore some of the losses suffered by these farmers, then put these defendants out of the livestock business for good."

Fayette is 150 miles west of St. Louis.

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