Two people have been charged with fraud over $5,000 after an RCMP investigation into cattle in several locations in Alberta and Saskatchewan.
Shane and Shanon Hoff of Two Hills, Alta., are to appear in Vegreville Provincial Court on Oct. 18 after cattle were allegedly purchased with a fraudulent cheque and transported out of the province without a brand inspection.
The Alberta RCMP Livestock Investigation Unit is encouraging "all livestock owners to brand their cattle and horses as this is the primary means of ownership identification and in most cases, relied upon for successful prosecution," said an RCMP statement.
The unit was first notified Aug. 19 about an alleged fraudulent purchase of cattle in Tofield, Alta. "Livestock Services of Saskatchewan were called to assist and a location was identified where the cattle were believed to be grazing."
Two purebred Black Angus bulls were seized on Sept. 2 in Spiritwood, Sask. Evidence involving further alleged victims was also located during the search, said the statement.
Cattle were subsequently recovered on Sept. 16 in connection with alleged fraud in Thorsby, Alta., and Lloydminster, Sask. "A total of 19 animals were seized and identified through registered livestock brands and/or registered purebred tattoos."
Anyone with information about other alleged incidents in connection with the RCMP's investigation involving Shane and Shanon Hoff is being asked to either contact the Alberta RCMP Livestock Investigations Unit at 403-598-6991, or their local police.
"If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPPS), online at www.P3Tips.com, or by using the 'P3 Tips' app available through the Apple App Store or Google Play Store."