RCMP still looking for missing cattle in fraud case

Tracking transactions | Police have yet to locate more than 600 cows that were sold illegally in Alberta

The search continues for more than 600 cattle related to an Alberta fraud conviction stemming from an RCMP investigation that began in 2009.

Timothy William Flad, 47, of Brownfield, Alta., was convicted in September of cattle theft over $5,000.

The police investigation revealed that Flad sold cattle he had financed without notifying the lender he had done so.

He was sentenced to one year of probation and one year of community service.

Cpl. Dave Heaslip of RCMP K division’s livestock section said Dec. 20 that investigators had traced 40 head that Flad had sold illegally, and he was ordered to repay $12,000 to the lender for those.

However, Heaslip said Flad had financed as many as 1,400 cattle and more than 600 head have still not been located.

“Anyone who has had any transactions on buying or selling cattle with Mr. Flad (should) contact the local RCMP or the livestock investigators in Alberta,” said Heaslip.

“We followed the trail of the cattle as much as we could. There’s got to be somebody out there who knows.”

The animals were commercial cattle of various breeds and ages, though Heaslip said he thinks most of them are cows.

Given the length of the investigation, Heaslip said return of the cattle is unlikely but repayment of the money remains possible if additional evidence is found.

“We like to think that we can locate cattle … if people play within the rules of the game, but when you start stepping outside the box like this, who knows where they ended up?”

Flad, who has relocated to Delia, Alta., had previously been convicted in Wainwright, Alta., of breaching judicial release conditions related to a cattle theft charge, according to an RCMP news release.

He was sentenced Sept. 10 to a $3,500 fine and two years of probation with conditions.

Flad has been subject to investigation over cattle matters for several years, said Heaslip.

“This thing started in 2009. It just ended up in court for a final decision in November, so you can certainly see the amount of time and the amount of investigational material that we’ve got, with that many head of cattle.”

The RCMP livestock division can be reached at 780-289-5510 or via Crimestoppers at 800-222-8477.

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