PORTALES, N.M. (AP) — The owner of the Portales Livestock Auction has been charged with embezzlement after being accused of keeping more than $478,000 from the auction of 1,000 head of cattle for a dairy in the eastern New Mexico community.

The office of District Attorney Matthew Chandler alleges buyers paid Randy Bouldin after the December 2008 auction, and that Bouldin deposited the funds in his own bank accounts, then wrote the dairy a worthless check for $478,669.

Chandler's office says it was contacted by the dairy's owners after several months of unsuccessful attempts to collect the money from Bouldin.

A criminal complaint filed late last month charges Bouldin with a felony count of embezzlement over $20,000.

The Associated Press left a message Thursday for Bouldin's attorney, Wesley Pool of Clovis.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.