- Associated Press - Sunday, December 16, 2018

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - A 57-year-old southwestern Missouri man has pleaded guilty in federal court to a $2.4 million wire fraud scheme and faces up to 20 years in prison.

Dwight Moody Cox, of Ozark, pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count. He owns Dwight Cox Cattle Co., which bought cattle for clients and grazed the cattle on land Cox owned or rented. When the cattle reached a specified weight, Cox shipped the cattle to the clients.

Prosecutors say Cox carried out a scheme in which he falsely claimed that he had purchased about 3,250 head of cattle under a contract with the Texas Beef Cattle Company of Amarillo. The Texas company paid him more than $2.5 million for the cattle.

But when the company requested the cattle shipped to it in early 2018, Cox admitted he had only 147 head of cattle and had submitted 35 false invoices to make it appear he had more.

Cox will be sentenced at a later date.

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