ASHLEY, N.D. — A South Dakota cattle feedlot operator embroiled in a financial meltdown has pleaded not guilty in a North Dakota criminal case related to his business operations.

Robert Lee “Bob” Blom of Corsica, S.D., on May 13 pleaded not guilty to writing a non-sufficient six-figure check payable to Gader Livestock LLC, a company operated by Paul and Terisa Gader of Lehr, N.D.

McIntosh County State’s Attorney Mary Depuydt, contends that Blom wrote a $134,837 check to the Gaders on about Jan. 29 that bounced.

In South Dakota, Blom and his wife, Becky Blom, also face a lawsuit by their bank, First Dakota National Bank based at Yankton, S.D. That case was filed Feb. 8 in South Dakota’s Douglas County, where some 17 parties claim he owes for more than 30,000 cattle. The Gaders are included on the list of unpaid bills.

Kim Radermacher, Blom’s attorney from LaMoure, N.D., requested a trial in front of a 12-person jury.

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Southeast Judicial District Judge Troy LeFevre said the Class C felony involving only the Gader transaction carries a maximum sentence of up to five years in prison and a fine of $10,000.

Paul Gader, operates Gader Livestock LLC, at Lehr, N.D. (Mikkel Pates / Forum News Service)
Paul Gader, operates Gader Livestock LLC, at Lehr, N.D. (Mikkel Pates / Forum News Service)

The Gaders did not attend the Ashley hearing. According to court documents, they had sent cattle to Blom’s feedlots and said Blom had paid for them with a check that bounced.

According to their website, the Gaders buy cattle from sale barns in North Dakota, some in Minnesota and South Dakota. They purchase cattle for local producers as well as customers in Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, Iowa and Minnesota.

A separate company called Gader Cattle Co. is owned by Brian and Kristy Gader, Paul’s parents, who live in rural Napoleon, N.D.