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Robert L. Blom of Corsica, S.D., on May 13, 2019, pleads to writing a $134,837 check to a North Dakota cattle buyer Paul D. Gader. A South East District judge allowed him to travel to Montana for work. His lawyer, Kim Radermacher, requested his case go to a jury trial, which could be scheduled more than eight weeks away. Photo taken May 13, 2019, at Ashley, N.D. (Forum News Service/Agweek/Mikkel Pates)

SD cattleman Blom pleads not guilty to $135K bounced check to ND buyer

ASHLEY, N.D. — Cattle feedlot operator Robert Lee "Bob" Blom of Corsica, S.D., on May 13 pleaded not guilty to a non-sufficient six-figure check payable to Gader Livestock, LLC, a company operated by Paul D. and Terisa V. Gader of Lehr, N.D.

McIntosh County State's Attorney Mary Depuydt, in the suit filed on March 21, alleging that Blom (pronounced "Blum") had written a $134,837 check to the Gaders on about Jan. 29 that bounced.

McIntosh County Courthouse, Ashley, N.D.Kim Radermacher, Blom's court-appointed attorney from LaMoure, N.D., requested a trial in front of a 12-person jury. LeFevre said the case would take about one day and likely will be handled by Judge Daniel D. Narum, of Ellendale. The judge's staff said it is likely the case will be scheduled no sooner than mid-July.

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

"Not guilty," Blom responded firmly, when LeFevre asked how he would plead. LeFevre granted Radermacher's request to allow Blom to travel to Montana where he has an employment opportunity. He was already able to travel freely within South Dakota and North Dakota without getting special court permission. Blom said he would travel to Montana for a couple of weeks, return for a few days and then go back to Montana, for some kind of seasonal work. LeFevre said Blom would need to keep his cell phone available.

"Currently, since this is a restitution case, my client would like to try to be able to make some money. That's his best means of employment at this stage of the proceedings," she said. Blom filed a waiver of extradition.

In South Dakota, Blom and his wife, Becky Blom, 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.

Paul GaderThe Gaders did not attend the hearing. According to court documents, they had sent cattle to Blom's feedlots with brand identification, and said Blom had paid for them with a check that bounced.

Earlier documents indicated the entire transaction between Paul Gader and the feedlots totaled $269,674.26 and included 146 steers and 120 heifers. About half of the funds came from a "feeding partner" for Blom, who the Gaders declined to identify, citing advice from their attorney.

According to their website, 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. Paul reportedly started in his own business about four years ago. Both are separately licensed and bonded by the North Dakota Agriculture Department.)