An extensive investigation resulting in charges of cattle theft, fraud and embezzlement were uncovered following a report of a rancher missing livestock.
Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association Special Ranger Kent Dowell investigated a cattle rustling case after 11 head of cattle went missing from a northern Lincoln County, Okla. ranch in October 2012.
The investigation uncovered a cattle theft ring.
The TSCRA reports the cattle were stolen at the direction of former Lincoln County District Judge Craig Key. Further investigations found Key, 48, was involved in other fraud and embezzlement schemes.
Investigations by the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office found Key also allegedly embezzled more than $475,000 from his clients.
The Oklahoman reports Key resigned as an attorney a week after being charged with embezzling from clients and stealing cattle.
Key was handed four indictments by an Oklahoma multi-county grand jury last Thursday. He was formally charged with 26 felony charges. In addition to Key, four others linked to the cattle theft ring were charged for the crimes.
More indictments are possible, including charges for racketeering.