It's difficult to determine the exact number of livestock haulers that have been heavily affected by the recent news regarding the stoppage of Eastern Livestock Co.'s operation. This New Albany, IN, based company is one of the largest livestock brokerages in the country.
The news follows after the U.S. Department of Agriculture claims that Eastern issued more than $94 million worth of bad checks to cattle producers from Nov. 3 to Nov. 9. The fate of the truck drivers, including some OOIDA members who transported livestock for Eastern, who was terribly affected by the stoppage as well as the receiving of worthless checks, hasn't been broadly reported.
In a current court filing, the company's bank, the Fifth Third Bank of Cincinnati, OH, requested for the emergency appointment of a receiver, which was given the green light by the court on Thursday, Nov. 11. Handling the receivership is Elizabeth M. Lynch of Development Specialists Inc., in Cleveland, OH.
Spokesman for the USDA, Jim Brownlee, old Land Line on Thursday, Nov. 18, that the agency is participating in an ongoing investigation with the Department of Justice into Eastern, which puts down Thomas P. Gibson as its principal owner.
According to Brownlee, as the USDA pursues "further action" against the company, more information should be made public in the coming days.
Eastern headquarters in New Albany, IN, made themselves unavailable for questioning to shed light about the matter. Neither is East West Trucking Co. LLC, another company owned by Eastern, listed at the same location as the headquarters. Eastern Livestock Co. has offices in 11 states and sold cattle in 48 states.