Tri-Cities rancher pleads guilty to cattle scam

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A Tri-Cities cattle rancher has pleaded guilty in federal court to a single count of wire fraud and faces up to 20 years in prison for a scam involving cattle that did not exist.Defense attorneys contended Wednesday that Cody Easterday started trading on the commodities market as a hedge against losses and became addicted.Easterday pleaded guilty Wednesday and is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 4. He has also promised to pay $244 million in restitution.The scheme began in 2016 and unraveled in November 

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