A farmer, rancher and former Llano, Texas, city council member is out on bond awaiting trial, following an investigation by the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association. A Llano County grand jury handed down a felony indictment on Sept. 9 against Craig Bauman for theft of livestock. The felony charge could mean two to 10 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.
According to KXAN, Bauman allegedly wrote a $9,250 check to the National Swine Registry in 2018 for five show hogs that he picked up in Indiana, but the check bounced due to insufficient funds. Multiple attempts to recover payment were unsuccessful, and after two years of trying, the Indiana-based NSR turned to Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association Special Ranger Mike Barr for help.
Barr says this wasn't the defendant's first run-in with the law. Bauman had previously written bad checks for other livestock but would always come up with the funds just as the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association got involved.
Barr told KXAN that Bauman owes the NSR between $12,000 and $13,000 due to the hot check, plus legal fees associated with the group's efforts to collect the payment.
He says cases like this serve as a good reminder you can't be too careful when selling livestock or property, especially when checks are involved. And good record keeping — like the National Swine Registry's — could mean the difference between collecting or not.
"Unfortunately, crooks are everywhere," Barr says. "We're just glad we could help."