Fraudulent horse scheme impacts 30 victims across the United States
FORT WORTH, Texas (Nov. 30, 2023) – Landen James, a horse trainer of Tioga, Texas, was arrested in the U.S. Virgin Islands on felony charges for theft after an investigation by Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association Special Ranger Brad Oliver and the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office. James is accused of crafting an intricate scheme stealing horses and money from victims throughout the United States.
James operated Majestic Ranch in Tioga, Texas where he facilitated the sale of horses on a consignment basis for numerous individuals across the country. After the completion of the consigned sale, James failed to pay the respected owners. Conversely, individuals who purchased through James failed to receive the horses, leaving victims on both ends of the fraudulent sale.
James is reported to have stolen between $300,000 and $500,000 from over 30 victims. The payments were facilitated using online platforms including Paypal, Venmo and CashApp.
On Oct. 17, James stole a truck and fled the area, abandoning the vehicle in Aubrey, Texas. Through the joint efforts of Grayson County Sheriff’s Office, Special Ranger Oliver, Texas Department of Public Safety, and the United States Marshals Service, James was located in the U.S. Virgin Islands. James was apprehended on Nov. 13 by the United States Marshals in St. Thomas. He is awaiting extradition to Grayson County.
Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Special Rangers continue to assist the investigation and request potential victims who believe they may have been subject to this scheme or individuals with information about the case contact the Operation Cow Thief tip line at 817-916-1775 or Special Ranger Oliver at 903-328-8023.