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Agricultural News

Oklahoma Beef Council Investigates Possible Criminal Activity by Former Employee

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 21:41:42 CDT

Oklahoma Beef Council Investigates Possible Criminal Activity by Former Employee On Wednesday afternoon, we were alerted to an announcement that would be coming from the Oklahoma Beef Council regarding some possible employee wrongdoing. In the statement that was released at 5:30 this afternoon, the Executive Director of the Beef Council, Heather Buckmaster, mentioned that financial wrongdoing may be a part of the issue and they have moved swiftly to address the situation.

Here is the statement released by Buckmaster on Wednesday afternoon:

"We recently became aware of employee wrongdoing at the Oklahoma Beef Council. We immediately terminated the employee and launched an internal investigation and engaged a third-party accounting firm to conduct a forensic analysis and assessment of our financial records. When our investigation revealed possible criminal activity by our employee, our legal counsel contacted the proper authorities and we are turning over information as they request.

"The Oklahoma Beef Council Board of Directors has moved swiftly to address the situation with the guidance of legal and accounting professionals. We are determined to take all appropriate steps in line with our fiduciary, ethical and legal responsibilities. The Board of Directors holds our duty to our fellow cattlemen and women at the highest level. Since this is a legal matter, we cannot comment any further at this time, but please know we will communicate additional information to the appropriate stakeholders as soon as we are able to do so."

Within a few moments after the release of the Beef Council statement, Executive Vice President of the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association, Michael Kelsey, emailed us with the following statement of support by OCA for the Beef Council and their efforts to address this wrongdoing:

"The Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association stands in full support of the Oklahoma Beef Council as they work through a situation involving possible criminal activity by an employee. We have full faith and confidence in the Oklahoma Beef Council leadership and believe they took the appropriate steps in conducting an internal investigation and turning the results of the investigation over to the proper authorities. This is now a criminal matter in the hands of law enforcement officers and we expect a full investigation and proper legal action to be taken to ensure justice is served for Oklahoma cattlemen and women. While we all want to know the details of what happened we must be patient and let the wheels of the legal system turn. We cannot let this distract us from dealing with serious issues threatening the future of the Oklahoma cattle industry, including the passage of State Question 777."



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