SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — An Ozark man pled guilty last Wednesday to a $2.4 million wire fraud scheme involving the purchase of cattle.
Dwight Cox, 57, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud in federal court, stating he falsely claimed he had purchased thousands of head of cattle under a contract with a Texas company.
Cox owned Dwight Cox Cattle Company, which purchased cattle throughout the region and placed them on land that was owned or rented by Cox. Once the cattle reached a specific weight, Cox would ship the cows to his clients.
Cox had a contract with Texas Beef Cattle Company, based in Amarillo, Texas, from 2009 through 2017. In this time, Cox purchased cattle from various livestock auction houses and kept them on his land. He would submit invoices to TBCC for all the cattle he purchased and would bill the Texas company for feeding the cows. After the cows reached their goal weight, Cox would ship the cows to TBCC, who would then sell the cattle and equally share the profits with Cox.
Between April 2017 and Nov. 2017, Cox submitted 35 invoices, according to the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri. Cox claimed he purchased around 3,250 head of cattle and had those cattle feeding off his land. In return, TBCC payed Cox approximately $2,559,419.
In Feb. of this year, TBCC wanted the cattle shipped to Amarillo for sale. At the end of the month, Cox told TBCC he was unable to deliver the cattle, admitting he only had 147 head of cattle. When questioned about the 3,100 missing cows, Cox confessed he submitted false invoices to TBCC.
TBCC officials said minus the 147 head of cattle received from Cox, he obtained $2,403,975 through his wire fraud scheme.
Cox could face up to 20 years in federal prison without parole.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Carney. It was investigated by the FBI.