Eastern Livestock was the largest cattle dealer in the United States. Operating from a small headquarters in New Albany, Indiana, the family-owned business bought and sold much of the feeder cattle across 11 states. During 2010, gross sales jumped from $1 billion to approximately $3 billion. In November 2010, Eastern Livestock’s lender placed a hold on all accounts after it discovered that its debtor had exchanged almost $2 billion in kited checks and phony cattle transactions. An involuntary Chapter 11 petition was filed in 2011 and a trustee was assigned.
Our firm served as main counsel to the trustee as he negotiated settlements with multiple parties in interest and proposed and confirmed a liquidating Chapter 11 plan. In addition, the Chapter 11 trustee pursued dozens of adversary proceedings to gather assets following the debtor's multi-billion dollar check-kiting scheme, with our firm representing the trustee in the litigation. The trustee was able to return millions to unpaid, unsecured cattle ranchers and other unsecured creditors.