cody

Cody Easterday 

Photo: OCA Young Cattleman's Committee 

YAKIMA - In an article composed by the Capital Press, the attorneys representing Cody Easterday, the man convicted of bilking Tyson Foods out of $233 million in a ghost cattle scam, now say the victim owes their client, Cody Easterday, $163 million.

That sum is equal to the amount the convicted former cattleman still owes to the company in restitution.

Easterday, a farmer out of Basin City, says Tyson owes him $100 million for using his name and picture without compensation to sell “Cody’s Beef” in Japan; that’s according to attorney Carl Oreskovich in a court filing. Based on more court documents obtained by the Capital Press, Oreskovich also alleges that Tyson “illegally collected” $51 million from Easterday after violating the Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921 and still owe him nearly $12 million in unpaid feed bills.

The Capital Press reports that Tyson declined to comment on the allegations.

Easterday will be sentenced on Oct. 4 pending any more postponements. Easterday also defrauded Segale Properties of Tukwila, Wash., out of $11 million, but has agreed to repay them and Tyson Foods as part of a plea deal.

Last year, Easterday pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud for taking money from victims to buy and feed cattle that didn’t exist. Easterday faces at least 10 years in prison with a potential of up to 12 years per a recommendation from prosecuting attorneys.

Easterday’s attorney has asked the judge presiding over the case to postpone a restitution hearing scheduled to be held at the same time as sentencing. The Capital Press reports that U.S. attorneys do not object to delaying the restitution hearing as long as it doesn't interfere with Easterday reporting to prison, according to court records obtained by the publication.

Easterday’s legal counsel is now asking for probation, lasting three years, arguing that Easterday’s farming career and contributions to the community were ruined by a gambling addiction. The Capital Press reports that Easterday lost $200 million betting on commodity futures contracts, which led to Easterday's ghost cattle scam, in order to make up for those losses.

U.S. attorneys argue that the plea for leniency “provides no basis for stealing nearly $45 million more than he lost.”