MERIDIAN, Texas — 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 subsequent arrest are the result of an investigation conducted by Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) Special Ranger Marvin Wills.
Hardin was employed as a ranch manager since 2014 by a Bosque County ranch owner. He 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.
TSCRA has 30 special rangers stationed strategically throughout Texas and Oklahoma who have in-depth knowledge of the cattle industry and are trained in all facets of law enforcement. All are commissioned as Special Rangers by the Texas Department of Public Safety and/or the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.
TSCRA is a 140-year-old trade association and is the largest and oldest livestock organization based in Texas. TSCRA has more than 17,500 beef cattle operations, ranching families and businesses as members. These members represent approximately 55,000 individuals directly involved in ranching and beef production who manage 4 million head of cattle on 76 million acres of range and pasture land primarily in Texas and Oklahoma, but throughout the Southwest.