Feds want trustee to manage bankrupt Oregon mega-dairy
SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Justice has asked a judge to appoint a federal trustee to take over an embattled Oregon mega-dairy, citing the owner’s drug use, gambling, out-of-control spending and pending criminal charges.
Lost Valley Farm, located near Boardman, supplies milk to the Tillamook County Creamery Association, which produces Tillamook Cheese, the Statesman Journal reported .
The 11-square mile (29-square kilometer) dairy has had issues including financial and regulatory problems since it opened over a year ago.
The Justice Department is handling owner Greg te Velde’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which was filed in April to stall a bank-foreclosure sale of his cattle.
Since then, te Velde admitted he continued to use methamphetamine and gamble at a California casino once or twice a week, U.S. Trustee Tracy Hope Davis wrote in a July 13 motion.
Davis asked a judge to either appoint a separate trustee to manage the dairy’s finances and operations on behalf of creditors, or to dismiss the bankruptcy case.
Te Velde is also facing criminal charges in California for possession of methamphetamine and trying to bribe an officer.
He declined to comment on Thursday.
Davis wrote that te Velde is accused of violating bankruptcy procedures when he moved more than $660,000 into a newly opened personal checking account less than a month before he declared bankruptcy. Te Velde has declined to say where the money came from.
He also has another violation for taking out a $205,000 loan without notifying the bankruptcy court.
Lost Valley Farm is the second-largest dairy in the state.
A previous version of this story stated that the U.S. Department of Justice is taking over Lost Valley Farms. A U.S. Trustee involved in Lost Valley’s bankruptcy case has asked a judge to appoint a trustee to oversee the finances of Lost Valley’s owner, citing gross mismanagement and incompetence.
Information from: Statesman Journal, http://www.statesmanjournal.com