Agri Beef Co. has offered $1 million for trucks, tractors and other rolling stock at a former Easterday feedlot, as Cody Easterday and his family's bankrupt companies begin to sell hundreds of pieces of equipment at more than a half dozen locations.
Easterday Ranches has filed a motion asking bankruptcy Judge Whitman Holt in Yakima, Wash., to approve the sale unless someone comes in with a better offer at a hearing Aug. 10.
Agri Beef's offer exceeds the appraised value of the equipment by more than $250,000.
The Boise-based company, doing business as AB Livestock, bought the Franklin County cattle-feeding facility, known as North Lot, for $16 million in January, but leased it back to Easterday to operate.
Easterday Ranches filed for bankruptcy in February. Cody Easterday pleaded guilty in March to defrauding Tyson Foods and another company of $244 million. The last day Easterday had cattle on the lot was mid-June, according to court records.
Easterday owes Agri Beef $99,389 for unpaid rent, a sum that will be subtracted from the $1 million sale, according to court records.
A court-approved appraiser, Hyperams LCC, valued 32 pieces of equipment at North Lot at $771,900. The firm estimated selling the equipment could net $645,500 after marketing expenses.
Hyperams will also appraise equipment at other Easterday properties.
Cody Easterday billed Tyson and the other company for buying and feeding cattle that didn't exist, according to prosecutors. Easterday used much of the money to cover losses in cattle futures contracts.
In a plea deal, Easterday agreed to pay restitution, including $233 million to Tyson. He is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 5 in U.S. District Court for Eastern Washington on one count of wire fraud. He also faces civil charges filed by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
On Wednesday, Judge Holt signed an order approving the sale of several Easterday farms in Benton County to Farmland Reserve Inc. for $209 million. The order affirmed an agreement that Easterday company lawyers reached July 14 with two large creditors, removing objections that threatened to delay the transaction.
Farmland Reserve, owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, does business in Washington as AgriNorthwest. It will buy from the Easterdays the Cox Farm, River Farm, Nine Canyon Farm, Goose Gap Farm, Farm Manager House and a storage complex.
The acquisition will add 18,000 acres, including 12,000 irrigated acres, to AgriNorthwest's land holdings in the Columbia Basin.
The Easterday company will lease the farms from AgriNorthwest to harvest wheat and sell equipment by Oct. 31, according to court records.
Proceeds from selling the farms and equipment have yet to be allocated among creditors and Easterday family members.
The Easterday companies listed $142.2 million in liabilities in a court filing in April. The liabilities do not include potential restitution to Tyson and the other company.