Fraud charges against Missouri businessman are dropped

Missouri fraud charges have been dismissed against the owner of a now-defunct cattle plant in Butler, Mo.

The state had filed multiple criminal charges in February 2012 in Bates County against Vincent Paletta Sr., the president of American Beef Co. Paletta opened the cattle plant in 2010, and it closed in less than a year.

Paletta said he had been defrauded by the plant’s previous owner “as to both the conditions and the status of the plant with the United States Department of Agriculture,” according to a statement from the Husch Blackwell law firm in Kansas City, which represented Paletta.

The statement also said “the prior owner misled state investigators, and criminal charges were filed against Paletta.”

The Bates County circuit clerk confirmed Tuesday that there are no pending criminal charges against Paletta.

Paletta was represented by Cynthia Cordes and Faiza Alhambra of Husch Blackwell.

“When presented with the truth, the prosecutor elected to do the right thing and spare the taxpayers the cost of an unnecessary trial against someone who was wrongfully accused,” the law firm’s statement said.