A southwest Missouri cattle rancher is accused of an elaborate scheme in which he claimed he was a victim of cattle theft in order to hide bank fraud and a false insurance claim.
The federal prosecutor in Kansas City has slapped a five-count indictment against 62-year-old Lonnie Utah Littles of Clever. Littles owns Poco Cala Ranch with his wife, Christian County Assessor Sandra Bryant-Littles. Prosecutors claim Littles sold cattle he had used as collateral to obtain a $105,000 line of credit from Liberty bank without the bank’s knowledge. He then reported the cattle had been stolen to conceal the sale. Littles filed an insurance claim for more than $66,000 with Shelter Insurance and had his employee, 57-year-old Jesse Rice of Clever, conduct two interviews with Springfield television stations to back up his cattle theft story. Rice has also been charged in the case.