Ralston butcher gets probation for cheating food donation program

Posted By: Channel 8 Eyewitness News


RALSTON, Neb. (AP)  A Ralston butcher who lied about how many deer he handled for a food donation program has been sentenced.

Court records say 66-year-old Thomas Salistean was given three years of probation Wednesday and ordered to pay more than $2,200 in restitution. He’d pleaded guilty to theft after prosecutors lowered the original charge.

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission says in a court affidavit that Salistean fraudulently recorded donations to the Hunters Helping the Hungry program and illegally sold deer meat. The affidavit says 26 of the 69 deer carcass donations Salistean reported during the 2013-2014 hunting season were either fraudulent or violated his contract with the state program or Nebraska statutes.

The program pays contracted meat processors $85 to process each deer carcass donated for the poor.