John McFakeson, who made headlines last month when he allegedly posed as an Iowa dairy executive to pilfer puppies from North Iowa Animal Rescue, was convicted last week on six charges related to what police said was a heist that lasted 18 months.
McFakeson, 43, was convicted of five counts of theft by false pretenses and two counts of animal neglect, all felonies, the Des Moines Register reported. He pleaded guilty in the case last week, according to the Register.
According to court records, McFakeson duped North Iowa Animal Rescue, or North IAR, into thinking he was a well-known veterinary dentist — making convincing videos and contacts with vets to bring false billing to the rescue group. The review of those videos indicated that McFakeson had falsely billed North IAR for vets exams he did without those exams, New York Daily News reported.
Court records stated that McFakeson stole a pit bull puppy from the rescue on May 25, 2017. He also allegedly stole a miniature dog and three full-sized heifers from the organization between January 2015 and March 2017.
McFakeson reportedly sent a letter to North IAR in March 2017 claiming to have worked for the organization and apologizing for his actions. But McNallson, a pet groomer and dog groomer, was not currently registered in Iowa, records show.
McFakeson “made numerous attempts to discredit the facts and false representations,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa said in a statement. “He forged the signature of somebody who was not in attendance and continued his criminal scheme.”
McFakeson was sentenced to eight years in prison, according to prosecutors.