Livestock auction company rips farmers off thousands of dollars

PORTALES N.M.(KRQE)- A livestock auctioning company in Portales is in hot water after the federal government filed suit again the company. Investigators claim the company stole money and the feds want it back.

Federal documents state that Plains Livestock better known as Producers Livestock Auction skimmed nearly a quarter of a million dollars from their clients.

Michael Flen and Darcie Pareo were arrested and charged back in February. The charges state they were altering auction receipts to make it appear that dairy cows sold for less than the actual selling price, then pocketed the rest.

District attorney Andrea Reeb was a part of that investigation.

“They pulled a couple ledgers and you could definitely tell someone has altered the numbering on them,” said Reeb.

Yesterday the feds filed a lawsuit to try and get the money back for dozens of dairies they are accused of ripping off. Most of the dairies are locating in New Mexico and west Texas.

The Grande Vida Dairy is located just outside of Portales. Clementine Lopez manages the daisy and says when things like this happen it’s hard to trust anyone with your money.

“We try to keep everything under the computer you know, keep all the records we can, but there’s things that get out of our hands,” said Lopez.

The feds also asked the court that anyone connected with livestock auction not be allowed to do business until the dairies are paid the money they are owed.

Investigators have only analyzed receipts for the last year at the auction house. They suspect this has been happening for as long as five years and think there is a lot more money involved here.

Flen and Pareo face multiple criminal charges including 100 counts of fraud, racketeering and tampering with evidence.

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