MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) — A Montana man who was charged in a cattle rustling scheme has been sentenced to 30 months in prison after pleading guilty to wire fraud and selling cattle that were collateral for loans.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Montana reports 45-year-old Joshua James Chappa of Bozeman was also ordered to pay nearly $451,000 in restitution.
Prosecutors say Chappa was a ranch manager in Wilsall from 2008 to 2017 and formed his own cattle business in 2015.
Prosecutors say he stole cattle from the Hayes Ranch and began selling them as his own. He also sold cattle that were collateral for two loans without repaying the loans.