OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A former Nebraska cattle inspector has been indicted on
charges that he faked reports about mad cow disease, the U.S. Attorney’s Office
Galen Niehues, 41, of Cozad, was charged Tuesday in U.S. District Court in
Lincoln with making false statements and mail fraud.
Niehues was employed by the state Department of Agriculture from July 2009
through March under a U.S. Food and Drug Administration grant. The indictment
says he submitted inspection reports on 92 Nebraska cattle operations, along
with travel expenses, but never actually performed the inspections.
The indictment does not address whether officials suspect any of the herds in
question pose a public health risk. It also doesn’t mention how the alleged
faked inspections were discovered.
Niehues collected about $35,500 in pay and benefits while working for the
state, the indictment says.
No number was listed for Niehues, and court records don’t list his
His first court appearance is scheduled for Dec. 2. Niehues faces up to 25
years in prison and $500,000 in fines if convicted.
Agriculture Department spokeswoman Bobbie Kriz-Wickham referred comment to
the FDA. A message left Wednesday for an FDA investigator wasn’t immediately returned.