Between 2013 and 2017, prosecutors said Nichols engaged in a scheme to steal cattle from the Marana Stockyards and Livestock Market, an entity that hosts weekly livestock auctions for Arizona ranchers.
As a cattle broker for third-party buyers, Nichols also illegally bid on his own cattle without the buyers’ knowledge or consent.
Prosecutors said some of the cattle that Nichols purchased on behalf of third-party buyers were stolen from Marana Stockyards.
As a result of these fraud schemes, Marana Stockyards lost more than $1 million.
Nichols’ son, Seth Nichols, previously pleaded guilty for his role in the schemes and was sentenced in December 2018 to 60 months in federal prison.
Tune in to FOX 10 Phoenix for the latest news:
Get breaking news alerts in the FREE FOX 10 News app. Download for Apple iOS or Android.