Rancher Indicted for Falsely Claiming Cattle Died in Storm


PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — Federal authorities say a South Dakota man falsely claimed he lost more than a hundred cattle during the autumn blizzard of 2013 that left western South Dakota ranchers reeling with financial losses.

Karl Knutson pleaded not guilty last month to felony counts of making a false claim and statement.

Authorities say Knutson submitted a claim to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the loss of 129 head of cattle even though he actually lost at most 13.

The indictment says Knutson also falsely told the USDA he paid $135,350 for 103 head of cattle that he didn't actually buy.

Knutson and his public defender didn't immediately respond to messages requesting comment. South Dakota U.S. Attorney Randy Seiler and a USDA Office of Inspector General spokesman declined to comment.



Source:  Associated Press

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