Man pleads in cattle case

It may not have been old-fashioned cattle rustling, but it wasn’t legal either. 67-year-old Philip Selby of Pinedale pleaded guilty late last month of providing false information to a forest officer, allowing unauthorized livestock on national forest land, and violating the terms and conditions of a grazing permit.

Chief United States Magistrate Judge Kelly Rankin then ordered Selby to pay $15,000 in fines. The charges stem from a multi-state investigation initiated in 2017 involving alleged fraud, embezzlement, and theft of livestock in California, which resulted in grazing violations occurring in the Upper Green River Cattle allotment on the Bridger-Teton National Forest.

Investigations indicated a significant number of illegally rebranded cattle had been moved into the national forest at Rendezvous Ranch. Selby, then manager of the Pinedale-based Rendezvous Ranch, acknowledged the terms of the grazing permit in writing and admitted he had been engaged in a business relationship with the suspect in California.

Records obtained by US Forest Service Law Enforcement revealed multiple payments issued from the California suspect to Selby in connection with the cattle, even though the ranch did not legally own cattle.

The investigation also revealed that numerous head of cattle, shipped to the Rendezvous Ranch, were illegally rebranded, to give the appearance of a legitimate transfer. The cattle were seized by the state in the fall of 2017. Rendezvous Ranch now has new owners.

 

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