Ponzi Scheme Disguised as Cattle Business Results in Guilty Plea

A Missouri man pled guilty Monday to federal charges stemming from his operation of a cattle purchasing business that defrauded investors out of nearly $8 million.  Kevin Ray Asbury, 44, entered guilty pleas to charges including wire fraud, money laundering, and bank fraud.

Asbury operated R&K Angus Ranch in Howard County, Missouri.  Beginning in May 2007, Ashbury promised potential investors that their funds would be used to buy cattle.  Eventually, 28 investors would invest with Ashbury.  Ashbury also applied for a line of credit from the Callaway Bank after falsely representing ownership of 6,000 cattle.  Ashbury had no cattle, and the bank reported a $2.7 million loss resulting from the fraud.

Prosecutors and Ashbury have agreed to a sentence of nine years in federal prison.  The judge overseeing the case must approve the plea agreement.