CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA — An Iowa man was recently sentenced to six months in prison after he was previously convicted of defrauding pork producers as the regional manager of an Iowa livestock dealer.

Robert Harry Bickerstaff, 52, of Rock Rapids, Iowa, previously pled guilty in December 2023 to creating fraudulent documents and manipulating scales between 2018 and 2021.

Bickerstaff oversaw livestock buying at stations in Iowa, Minnesota and South Dakota, where he personally counted, classified, and weighed swine at the stations.

He also admitted in his plea agreement to lowering the weights and reducing the numbers and classifications of swine that producers and sellers delivered to the livestock dealer.

Additionally, Bickerstaff confirmed that he manipulated the weights of swine either manually or using a crowbar, paddle or other similar object to change the electronic scales the livestock producers’ swine were weighed at the station. He created fraudulent “sort sheets” and scale tickets containing false numbers, classifications and weights of producers’ swine for transmission to the dealer’s headquarters in Waucoma, Iowa.

Lastly, the plea agreement said that Bickerstaff instructed others to destroy anything with his name on it after he was concerned about a potential investigation in early 2021.

Along with being a livestock dealer, Bickerstaff was also a pork producer. In February 2022, Bickerstaff won a “Hog Wild” award from a statewide pork producers’ association promoting pork in Lyon County, Iowa.