- Associated Press - Friday, September 12, 2014

MIDLAND, Texas (AP) - A West Texas ranch manager has pleaded guilty to scamming a company out of at least 120 cattle.

U.S. Attorney Robert Pitman says 44-year-old James Jones faces up to 20 years in federal prison for two wire fraud charges.

Midland oil company Henry Resources hired Jones in March 2011 to manage several of its properties. Authorities say Jones charged for management services and cattle purchases he didn’t perform. They say he diverted a large portion of the money for other purposes, including personal expenses.

Federal authorities estimate the company lost more than $400,000 total. A 2012 cattle inventory found that about 120 animals were missing.

Jones remains free on bond pending sentencing in December.

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