Omaha men accused of non-payment of cattle from Lex sale barn

Russell Ortmeier. From Gage County Sheriff's Office

John Ortmeier. Undated photo from Nebraska Dept. of Corrections

Two Omaha men are each charged with three counts of felony theft by deception in Dawson County. The charges stem from purchases of cattle from Lexington Livestock on three separate occasions in December of 2012. Seventy-year-old John Ortmeier and his son, 48-year-old Russell Ortmeier are accused of purchasing 278 cattle with a total value of $285,072.73. Court records indicate that repeated promises to pay for the cattle came and went several times and in one case checks that were provided were returned by the bank for insufficient funds.

Russell Ortmeier has pled not guilty to the charges. He has a hearing scheduled for January 3rd in Dawson County District Court. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of issuing a bad check in Gage County Court earlier this month(December 17th). He was originally charged with two counts of felony issuing a bad checks in that case. It stemmed from similar purchases of cattle from Beatrice 77 Livestock totaling nearly $97,000. According to the Beatrice Daily Sun, Russell Ortmeier's attorney told a judge at a hearing earlier this month that Ortmeier had already paid restitution of $69,000 to Beatrice 77 Livestock and intended to pay roughly $28,000 more.

Back in Dawson County, the charges against John Ortmeier remain pending as an arrest warrant issued for him in April had yet to be served on him. He also faces an additional charge of being a habitual criminal, having had two previous criminal convictions in Sarpy County and one in Knox County.

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