TOFIELD, Alta. — Cattle allegedly obtained by fraud were recently located on property near Spiritwood and, now, details show the larger scope of the inquiry. Two people have also been arrested.
On Aug. 19, a report was received by the Alberta RCMP Livestock Investigation Unit regarding alleged fraudulent purchase of cattle in Tofield, Alta.
The Alberta RCMP Livestock Investigation Unit’s investigation determined suspects had allegedly purchased cattle with a fraudulent cheque and transported the cattle out of province without brand inspection. Livestock Services of Saskatchewan were called to assist and a location was identified where the cattle were believed to be grazing.
On Sept. 2, the Alberta RCMP Livestock Investigation Unit, with assistance of Livestock Services of Saskatchewan, executed a search warrant in Spiritwood, Sask., seizing two pure bred Black Angus bulls and locating evidence of additional victims.
On Sept. 16, a subsequent search warrant was executed where Alberta RCMP Livestock Investigation Unit recovered cattle subject of alleged fraud committed by the same suspects in Thorsby, Alta., and Lloydminster, Sask. A total of 19 animals were seized and identified through registered livestock brands and/or registered pure bred tattoos.
Shane and Shanon Hoff, both of Two Hills, Alta., have both been charged with fraud over $5,000 and are scheduled to appear in Vegreville Provincial Court on Oct. 18.
Alberta RCMP Livestock Investigation Unit investigators encourage 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.
It is notable that Shane and Shanon Hoff are believed to have been involved in similar business transactions. As such, the RCMP are asking anyone with information about similar incidents is asked to contact the Alberta RCMP Livestock Investigations Unit at 403-598-6991, or your 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 or Google Play Store.