FRANKFORT, Ky. – Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway and his Office of Special Prosecutions today announced the distribution of an additional $56,500 in restitution to victims who were swindled by the now-defunct Eastern Livestock. To date, the Commonwealth has distributed nearly $900,000 in restitution to Kentucky farmers who fell victim to a check-kiting scheme operated by top executives at the cattle brokerage, previously based in New Albany, Ind.
General Conway’s Office last week mailed checks totaling $56,537 to 35 farmers who were not listed in the original indictment of Eastern’s Chief Executive Officer and founder, Thomas “Tommy” Gibson, former Chief Financial Officer Steve McDonald, and two other top executives, Darren Brangers and Grant Gibson. The average pro-rated restitution amount for the post-plea victims was $1,600. The farmers were not listed in the original indictment because they did not respond to numerous attempts to complete paperwork to register their losses. They contacted the Attorney General’s Office after the settlement and restitution was announced.
“I understand some people didn’t fill out the paperwork because they didn’t believe we’d ever recover any money,” General Conway said. “With this payment, all of the restitution pursuant to the plea agreement has been paid out to Kentucky farmers swindled by Eastern Livestock. I appreciate the hard work of my investigators, prosecutors and support staff, as well as our state and federal partners, who helped bring this case to a successful close. We have worked hard to protect the interests of Kentucky’s farmers and to ensure that those responsible for this scheme were held accountable.”