William R. “Bud” Hardin, 34, surrendered to authorities last week in Bosque County on a first-degree felony warrant for Misapplication of Fiduciary Property. The charges and arrest are the result of an investigation conducted by Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) Special Ranger Marvin Wills.
Hardin was hired as a manager in 2014 by a Bosque County ranch owner and is accused of misappropriating ranch assets and equipment throughout the course of his employment. Because the value of misappropriated assets exceeds $300,000, the charge is elevated to a first-degree felony.
Hardin was booked at the Bosque County jail last week following his surrender. He has since posted a $25,000 bond and been released.
“It is important for ranch owners to implement appropriate safeguards within their operation to prevent this type of theft,” said Special Ranger Wills. “Agricultural theft and crime can come in many different forms, so vigilance is key.”
Wills suggests that ranch owners keep a detailed inventory of ranch equipment and assets, and carefully watch expenditures and accounts receivable to ensure funds are handled appropriately.
Special Ranger Wills continues to lead the investigation into Hardin’s alleged criminal misdeeds with the assistance of the Bosque County District Attorney’s Office.