A Pennsylvania man was sentenced to 38 months in prison after offering to buy cattle from two Vermont and 11 other ranchers with counterfeit checks and offering to sell cattle that did not exist, according to the Justice Department.
Jason Amidon, 28, of Coudersport, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud, according to a statement released Friday from the U.S. Attorney's office.
Amidon was sentenced Thursday in U.S. District Court in Brattleboro, Vermont, to the prison time, three years of post-release supervision and $144,450 in restitution.
The charges stem from Amidon's scheme to defraud the ranchers of $2.1 million, according to the Justice Department. Amidon uttered a $100,000 counterfeit check to a Lyndonville, Vermont, farmer, in exchange for 55 heritage pedigree cattle and their calves, authorities said.
Instead of delivering the cattle to a co-operative farm in Minnesota, as he represented, Amidon delivered the cows to auction in Pennsylvania, where they were sold for beef, according to the statement.
An investigation by the Vermont State Police and FBI revealed a series of frauds by Amidon related to cattle around the country from 2013 to 2015. Pennsylvania State Police assisted the investigation and arrest.