Nebraska man sentenced for fake mad cow reports

Associated Press

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A Cozad man who pleaded guilty to mailing false reports for a federal mad cow disease inspection program has been sentenced to five years of probation.

The U.S. attorney's office in Omaha says Galen Niehues was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Lincoln. He had faced more than a year in federal prison after pleading guilty in February.

Prosecutors say the 42-year-old Niehues was employed by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture between July 2009 and March 2010. He was hired to perform on-site inspections, taking samples and testing compliance with rules to prevent the spread of mad cow disease.

Prosecutors say Niehues devised a scheme to get paid for work he didn't do and submitted 92 false reports showing he done the inspections and collected the required samples.