• February 16, 2011

In the old days (at least as portrayed by Hollywood), some made their living snitching other people’s cattle.  The modern-day analog, would maybe be sophisticated auto-theft ringscargo thefts, or secured transaction-related financial fraud. (Cattle are maybe harder to transport and harder to “flip” or “fence” these days than a crate of oxycontin or Chrysler PT Cruisers (maybe?).)

On the other hand, Americans still love their burgers (73 lbs. per person per year here in the heartland).  Wholesale carcass price for choice beef is now around $170/hundred pounds.  So, we’re talking $1K or more per head if you can score and flip a herd.

What if you could nab 256 head of cattle (that is, more than $300,000 whopper street value) without even mounting a horse or hopping in a pick-up truck?

While no one is saying that Wachovia Capital Finance Corporation, defendant in a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, is a cattle-rustling operation, WCFC is being accused of having wrongfully pocketed the proceeds of a cattle transaction gone bad.

Plaintiff Rabo Agrifinance Inc.  (through John R. Brakke of the Vogel Law Firm in Fargo) has charged WCFC with “conversion” and, last Friday, U.S. District Court Judge John R. Tunheim (D. Minn.) denied WCFC’s motion to dismiss.  WCFC’s rejected motion had been based on theories of “res judicata” and the plaintiff’s supposed faiure to join an “indispensable party.”

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