Ohio Coop Again Held Liable to Cattle Fraud Victims

Ohio Coop Again Held Liable to Cattle Fraud Victims

A U.S. District Court jury in Omaha returned a $1.3 million verdict today against United Producers, Inc. of Columbus OH for misrepresentation and joint venture liability in connection with UPI's dealings with convicted cattle investment schemer George L Young.

In September, a federal jury in Omaha found that UPI was liable to cattle investors for $17 million. A Kansas City jury refused to allow UPI to collect a $3 million note from a borrower for cattle never accounted for, too.

James Cann of Domina Law pc asked the jury to return its verdict for Producers Livestock Credit Corp of Omaha and Harry Hayes of Ida Grove IA in the case decided Monday. In his closing argument Cann told the jury United Producers had employed George Young, owned and controlled his operation, took commission checks on his false cattle dealings, and did nothing to assure honest dealings.

The jury agreed. It found UPI responsible for over $1.2 million for a loan Young and UPI talked Producers into making within days before the Kansas City based UPI/Young joint venture collapsed in August 2001.

Cann presented evidence that UPI was responsible for false statements and concealed facts, and had liability for Young's dealings because it was engaged in a joint venture with Young. Joint venturers have shared liability. Hayes, who lost large sums in addition to the amount he was able to sue for in the Omaha case and Producers Livestock, completed a common transaction with the UPI/Young joint venture in July 2001. Cann said, "they relied on UPI and its people thinking they were forthcoming and responsible parties with whom to deal. They weren't".

Cann said Producers Livestock and Hayes "are pleased by the verdict, and look forward to getting the case finalized after a long, agonizing 3 year battle" through complex bankruptcy and separate Nebraska trial proceedings.

Domina Law pc served as trial counsel for the successful plaintiffs in the September 2004 case against UPI. Its lawyers also served as counsel for persons with losses totaling more than $80 million in the George L Young debacle.

February 1, 2005

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