Bryan Cohen Jul. 5, 2013, 6:23pm

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Legal Newsline) - Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway announced the distribution Wednesday of an additional $56,500 worth of restitution to victims who were wronged by the now-defunct Eastern Livestock.

The New Albany, Ind.-based Eastern Livestock and its principals engaged in a check-kiting scheme that was operated by the cattle brokerage's top executives. Since June 2012, Conway's office distributed close to $900,000 in restitution to Kentucky farmers who fell victim to the scheme.

Conway's office sent $56,537 in checks to 35 farmers last week who were not listed in the original indictment of Eastern Livestock and its principals. The farmers were not in the original indictment because they failed to respond to multiple attempts to finish paperwork to register their losses. The victims contacted Conway's office after the announcement of the settlement and restitution.

"I understand some people didn't fill out the paperwork because they didn't believe we'd ever recover any money," Conway said. "With this payment, all of the restitution pursuant to the plea agreement has been paid out to Kentucky farmers swindled by Eastern Livestock. I appreciate the hard work of my investigators, prosecutors and support staff, as well as our state and federal partners, who helped bring this case to a successful close. We have worked hard to protect the interests of Kentucky's farmers and to ensure that those responsible for this scheme were held accountable."

In June 2012, Steve McDonald, Eastern Livestock's former chief financial officer, Darren Brangers, a top executive with the company, and Grant Gibson, another company executive, were assessed close to $900,000 in restitution payments.

In March 2012, McDonald and Tommy Gibson, Eastern Livestock's founder and CEO, pleaded guilty to all counts against them, including one count of criminal syndication, engaging in organized crime, 11 counts of theft under $500, 144 counts of theft under $10,000 and over $500 and 17 counts of theft over $10,000. Tommy Gibson is serving a six-year prison term and McDonald is serving a five year prison term. Both Gibson and McDonald also face two additional years of probation.

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