Cody Allen Easterday might have a bit of room to breathe for a bit. Unlike what the Commodity Future’s Trading Corporation (CFTC) would prefer, Mr. Easterday will enjoy a respite from his civil litigation with the Corporation; the federal bankruptcy court effectively stopped any further action of the lawsuit pending Mr. Easterday’s current bankruptcy filing deliberation.
If Mr. Easterday’s name is unfamiliar, it becomes particularly notorious again in terms of association with the defrauding of Tyson Foods to the tune of $244 million. In that fraud case, which Mr. Easterday has pled guilty to, Tyson Foods was duped out of almost a quarter billion dollars for cattle care that never was provided because the cattle never existed. With regards to that criminal action, Mr. Easterday is facing up to 20 years in federal prison. However, that related sentencing is delayed pending the finalization of his Chapter 11 bankruptcy or May 10, 2022.
The CFTC had lined up among a handful of federal agencies, pursuing recovery from Mr. Easterday for his criminal activity, with the CFTC filing being late to the party and filed only a year prior, in March 2021. In that regard, the court determined that Mr. Easterday would be subject to a $30 million penalty for fraudulent securities activities and similar, in addition to his already existing restitution expected to Tyson Foods. The basis of the CFTC case hinged on Easterday racking up over $200 million in losing market cattle futures trades. That market pitfall, in turn, was the driver for Easterday’s fraudulent invoices to cover the losses.
Easterday positioned himself as a major cattle market player through to organizations, Easterday Farms and Easterday Ranches. Easterday purposefully misrepresented his values in his trades, stating he had more than sufficient cattle inventory to back his trades, particularly in the area of revenue from cattle sales. He did in fact have a real family operation in farming, but Easterday fabricated the buying of cattle and then feeding them, invoicing Tyson for the cost. Amazingly, the company paid the invoices without asking why.
In the bankruptcy liquidation, the bulk of Easterday’s holding will go to a holding company for the Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints, auctioned off in June 2021. Among somewhere between 200 and almost 1,000 creditors, Tyson is at the top of the list arguing for some kind of recovery from Easterday’s holdings in bankruptcy. It’s a sad, cold ending for a family farm business started in 1958 and ruined by the market gambling of one person.