Oklahoma Farm Report masthead graphic with wheat on the left and cattle on the right.
Howdy Neighbors!
Ron Hays, Director of Farm and Ranch Programming, Radio Oklahoma Ag Network  |  2401 Exchange Ave, Suite F, Oklahoma City, Ok 73108  |  (405) 601-9211


Agricultural News

After Sentencing of Melissa Morton for Embezzlement from Oklahoma Beef Council- Former Chair Tom Fanning Calls It Justice Served

Thu, 04 Jan 2018 20:00:57 CST

After Sentencing of Melissa Morton for Embezzlement from Oklahoma Beef Council- Former Chair Tom Fanning Calls It Justice Served While much of the money is gone and will likely not be paid back- former Oklahoma Beef Council Chair Tom Fanning called the sentencing of Melissa Morton for embezzlement of $2.6 from the Oklahoma Beef Council as "justice served." Morton received a sentence of 57 months in Federal Prison followed by five years of supervised release. According to federal law, Morton will be required to serve at least 80-85% of her sentence.

While Morton was ordered to pay $2.3 million in restitution to the Oklahoma Beef Council- she has currently paid back about ten percent of the money stolen from the Beef Council- the OBC will have to wait for her to pay over $600,000 to the IRS first- they are demanding back taxes, saying the $2.6 million she stole was income that she owes taxes on.

Fanning talked with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays after the sentencing was complete- that it has been a very difficult time for board members of the Oklahoma Beef Council as they tried to explain to fellow cattle producers the "trust that was broken and the deceit that was brought on us and the level of fraud that she perpetraited." The US Attorney told the judge ahead of sentencing that Morton's actions were deliberate as she carefully kept multiple sets of books, forged 790 checks and fooled several third party auditors over seven years before she was caught. The US Attorney emphasized that the theft was expecially serious as she broke trust as an long time employee of a non profit agency.

Fanning believes that the Oklahoma cattle industry lost far more than just the $2.6 million dollars embezzled as he told Hays that he heard from many cattle producers they considered Morton's actions as reason enough to vote no on the State Beef Checkoff this past November. The secondary state beef checkoff could have raised three million dollars annually for promotion, education and research but failed.

Click on the LISTEN BAR to hear Fanning and Hays on the Sentencing and where the Beef Council goes from here in regaining the trust lost because of Morton's actions. You can read the statement released by the Oklahoma Beef Council right after the sentencing by clicking here.


right-click to download mp3


WebReadyTM Powered by WireReady® NSI


Top Agricultural News

  • Oklahoma Board of Agriculture Backs Off Vote on Emergency Rule for Poultry Setback- "Punt" Issue to State Lawmakers  Tue, 11 Dec 2018 20:59:56 CST
  • Calf Trade $2 to $4 Higher Than a Week Ago at OKC West  Tue, 11 Dec 2018 20:09:56 CST
  • Oklahoma Grain Elevator Cash Bids as of 2:00 pm Tuesday, December 11, 2018  Tue, 11 Dec 2018 20:04:19 CST
  • Senator Jim Inhofe Calls Passage of 2018 Farm Bill a Win for Farmers, Ranchers and the American Taxpayer  Tue, 11 Dec 2018 19:58:52 CST
  • Ag Groups Encouraged by New WOTUS Rule- Look Forward to Reviewing the Details in Proposal  Tue, 11 Dec 2018 17:26:18 CST
  • Community Bankers Thank Senate for Approval of 2018 Farm Bill Conference Report  Tue, 11 Dec 2018 16:27:41 CST
  • Biotechnology Innovation Organization Likes Energy Title Found in 2018 Farm Bill  Tue, 11 Dec 2018 16:09:10 CST
  • National Association of Conservation Districts Declares a Great Day with Farm Bill Conference Report Done  Tue, 11 Dec 2018 16:00:02 CST

  • More Headlines...


    Ron salutes our daily email sponsors!

    Livestock Exchange Oklahoma Ag Credit Oklahoma Farm Bureau National Livestock Credit P&K Equipment Tulsa Farm Show Stillwater Milling KIS FUTURES, INC. Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association

    Search OklahomaFarmReport.com

    Find more about Weather in Oklahoma City, OK

    © 2008-2018 Oklahoma Farm Report
    Email Ron   |   Newsletter Signup   |    Current Spots   |    Program Links

    WebReady powered by WireReady® Inc.