Easterday Ranches files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy
Easterday Ranches has been named as the cattle supplier than defrauded Tyson Foods out of millions
PASCO, Wash. – On Monday, Easterday Ranches Inc., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the US Bankruptcy Court Eastern Washington District.
This type of bankruptcy would allow Easterday to restructure their company instead of completely disolving. Court documents state that they have appointed a new Board of Directors to oversee Easterday Ranches.
Bankruptcy documents said they’re seeking emergency relief to care for the 54,000 head of cattle that they have on their property, which belong to Tyson Foods.
This all comes nearly a week after Tyson Foods filed a lawsuit against Easterday Ranches.
That the ranch was feeding and caring for 200,000 head of cattle, for Tyson, that never existed.
The complaint said President Cody Easterday had submitted false invoices for reimbursement by the company, and received those funds, as allowed by the parties’ Cattle Feeding Agreement.
Tyson Foods claimed they were defrauded out of $225 million by the company.
Now, the Washington Department of Agriculture is looking into these allegations but they are not a part of the Tyson filing.
“That paperwork review is meant to look at the number of cattle that they report are coming into the feedlot and the number of cattle that are leaving,” Hector Castro with WSDA said.
Castro explained they plan to start the review soon and depending on their findings, WSDA will decide on further action.
“We wanna look at the paperwork from these two data streams and just compare the numbers. How did the numbers reported by Tyson for the meat processing, how did those compare to the numbers reported to us by Easterday?” he said.
On Wednesday afternoon, the court decided Easterday Ranches could use cash collateral to pay some debt. Court documents show the ranches owe hundreds of thousands of dollars to veterinarians, feed suppliers and construction companies.
Additionally, Tyson Foods said they’ll give Easterday Ranches $1.75 million to feed the 54,000 cattle that are on their property. Otherwise, the company said they don’t have the cash to keep that many cattle alive.
Representatives with Easterday said during the hearing, their main goal is to make creditors happy and work to resolve the issues.
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