Holsworthy farmer was caught buying half price treatments for his livestock from an illegal web-based supplier.
Willie Cleave, who farms sheep and cattle across Devon and Cornwall, carried on buying the cheap veterinary products even after he had been raided by Defra officials.
Willy Cleave sheep dealer
He was ordered to pay fines and costs of more than £10,000 despite presenting a Judge at Exeter Crown Court with accounts which calculated his annual income as being just £16,000.
Cleave, 55, came to fame during the foot-and-mouth crisis of 2001 when he was blamed for bringing the virus to the region by transporting a truck load of sheep to his farm from the North East.
He was reported to have received compensation of £1 million after all the livestock on his 11 farms was slaughtered during the enforced cull.
The court heard how he spent more than £50,000 over three years buying cheap products from a European based internet supplier called Eurovet.
They included a drug called mycotil, which is used to treat hoof infections, and others which should only be prescribed by qualified vets.
Cleave, of Burden Farm, Highampton, near Holsworthy, admitted eight counts of possessing unauthorised veterinary medicines or medicines supplied outside the DEFRA regulations.
Alexis Dite, for the prosecution, said Cleave's purchases were uncovered during an investigation into a website called Eurovet which operated first from France, then Belgium, then Holland, moving each time it was raided.
He said the total amount of illegal sales was £6 million, with Cleave's orders totalling more than £50,000.
He said: "The animals are used in the human food chain and there is a risk of residue in animals which have been administered products outside the regulatory regime and proper records are not kept.
"There is no evidence of harm to humans but the risk was certainly run."
Tim Nesbitt, for the defending, said Cleave had been a victim of the scam, believing the products were cheap because they were sold on the internet.
He said Cleave has 1,400 cattle and 2,000 sheep at his farms and has built up his business since starting with just £2,000 in 1975. He spends £40,000 a year on veterinary products for his animals.
Mr Nesbitt said Cleave had to remortgage his own 300-acre farm in 2008 to pay for a £400,000 divorce settlement which had put huge strain on his finances.
He said accounts for the family firm showed a profit of just £45,314 in 2010, £40,652 in 2011, and £52,685 in 2012, and of this Cleave's dividend in 2010 had been just £16,008.
Judge John Neligan said: "You are a farmer with 40 years experience who has admitted these eight offences which are against regulations designed to ensure that livestock is not treated in an inferior way.
"I'm satisfied that at first you did not know they were unlawful but in March 2008 you were visited by Defra officials, so after that you knew they were unlawful.
"You kept purchasing these products and the prosecution say you bought a further £5,000 worth.
"The risk of using these products is to the livestock and therefore to the public who may consume wrongly or overdosed animals which find themselves in the food chain."
Cleave was fined £8,800 and ordered to pay £1,515 costs.