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Two Charged In Cattle Rustling Scheme

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McALESTER, Okla. (AP) - A Texas rodeo professional and a McAlester ranch manager have been charged with embezzlement and conspiracy in a case involving nearly 300 head of missing cattle.

Thirty-6-year-old Michael Matt of Blanco, Texas, and 22-year-old Traven Clifft of McAlester were charged last week with conspiracy and three counts of felony embezzlement.

Investigators say Clifft was arrested Friday afternoon, and Matt is expected to surrender to authorities next week.

According to his promoter, Matt is a 4-time world champion bull fighter and rodeo personality who won the 2004 professional bull riders bull fighting competition at PBR national finals in Las Vegas.

There were no telephone listings for Matt or Clifft, and court records do not indicate if either has retained an attorney.

The two are accused of selling cattle at livestock sales in McAlester and Ada in Matt's name, and then splitting more than $47,000 in proceeds. Clifft also is accused of selling another 280 head for $131,200.

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