Truth Allen Stephens of Guymon, Oklahoma, was arrested recently on felony charges for writing a fraudulent check. The arrest is the result of an investigation led by Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association Special Ranger Bart Perrier and the Okmulgee County Sheriff’s Office.
In March, Stephens allegedly wrote a check from a closed account for $187,650 to buy cattle from an Okmulgee County rancher. Stephens took possession of the fraudulently purchased cattle totaling 139 cows and 46 newborn calves. He allegedly transported them to western Oklahoma to sell them. Soon after, the rancher discovered the check was not valid and attempted to contact Stephens. Stephens avoided the victim, refusing to provide a valid form of payment for the cattle.
According to Perrier, Stephens purchased additional large sets of cattle, along with horses, tack and a Peterbilt semi-truck using the same sequence of checks from the closed checking account. TSCRA Special Rangers are continuing to investigate and request any other potential victims in the Oklahoma area who believe they may have been victimized by Stephens contact Perrier at 918-440-8360.
Perrier advises individuals who agree to sell cattle or personal property through private sales to refrain from accepting personal checks without prior verification. Opting for a cashier’s check or securing funds through wire drafts between financial institutions is a more secure practice.