Making bucks out of bison

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 1999:

D.C.––Former bison rancher and promoter
James O’Hearn, 60, drew a six-year
sentence on May 11 for fraud, illegally acting
as a stockbroker, forging client signatures,
and converting assets to personal use.
Claiming investments in bison
meat, hides, manure, and embryo transplants
would bring riches, O’Hearn allegedly
bilked 40 people of about $2.5 million.
“If I had the option of imposing a
longer sentence, I would,” said U.S. District
Judge Charles N. Clevert, likening O’Hearn
to bank robbers and drug dealers.
The USDA meanwhile outlined a
safer way to make money from bison.
Reported Associated Press, “Bison
ranching is growing so fast that there is no
longer a market for all the meat, processors
say. As a result, the USDA will buy $6 million
in surplus ground bison this year, one
quarter of the industry’s ground meat production.
The biggest beneficiary of the purchases
likely would be billionaire Ted Turner,
the industry’s largest producer and most
prominent proponent.”
Turner owns about 17,000 of the
estimated 250,000 bison in the U.S.

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