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Hay lawsuits continue to pile up


Blackfoot hay dealer faces 11 civil suits, criminal charges


By CAROL RYAN DUMAS


Capital Press


With another complaint filed in Twin Falls County June 7, hay broker Jeffrey Mathie, 43, faces 11 lawsuits in addition to criminal charges related to his business.


Judgments sought against the Blackfoot hay dealer are now almost $3.8 million, with additional damages to be decided in court.


In the latest case, Jack McCall and Jean McCall vs. Mathie Alfalfa Co., the McCalls are seeking $39,065.05 for undelivered, high-quality hay they paid for, and an additional amount to be proven for damages from delivery of lower-quality hay and the cost of replacing hay.


They are also seeking $5,000 in attorney fees if the case is not contested.


The McCalls are owners of Clear Creek Land & Mortgage in Twin Falls and broker commodities in addition to their lending business, said Rob Williams, their attorney.


The complaint states Mathie contacted E. Dan Carter, a Twin Falls County hay broker, on or about Jan. 25 to inform him he had 450 tons of available high-quality hay delivered in Twin Falls County. Carter, in turn, contacted the McCalls, who agreed to purchase the hay through Carter for $200 per ton.


About 46 tons, conforming to the contract, were delivered in January and February. Another 101 tons, not conforming to the contract, were also delivered in February.


Capital Press has also obtained the complaint for a case filed June 1 in Jerome County and reported last week.


In that case, Healthy Earth Enterprises, a Jerome compost manufacturer, is suing Mathie for $78,203.24 for compost it sold to Mathie and transportation services for hay and straw it hauled for Mathie from December 2008 to October 2009.


Healthy Earth is also seeking $3,000 in attorney fees if the case is not contested.


The 11 lawsuits Mathie still faces allege failure to deliver contracted hay, and failure to pay for hay, straw, fuel, feed barley, and hay-baling services. In many, he is charged with breach of contract, fraud and conversion.


In the one criminal case in Bingham County, he faces allegations of issuing insufficient checks.


Another civil suit in Bingham County has been closed, with a judgment of $4,539.65 awarded to the plaintiffs.


One victim in the criminal case, Brent Steffler, Firth, has been paid the almost $50,000 Mathie owed him, said Steffler's wife, Rhonda Steffler. The case is still pending, however.


As reported earlier in Capital Press, Twin Falls County Sheriff's Department has reported turning over its investigation of Mathie's dealing in Canada and six states to the FBI. An FBI spokesman would neither confirm nor deny it is working on a case.


A call to Mathie has not been returned.


Online


Idaho court repository: www.idcourts.us



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