News and Press Releases

Wessington Springs Man Sentenced for Stealing Visa Gift Card

June 20, 2011
Contact: Mark E. Salter
Assistant United States Attorney

United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that a Wessington Springs man charged with Obstruction of Correspondence was sentenced on June 20, 2011, by United States District Judge Roberto A. Lange. Loren R. Stuefen, age 31, was sentenced to 12 months in custody, three years of supervised release, $4,427.98 in restitution, and a $100 special assessment to the Victim Assistance Fund.

Stuefen was indicted for Mail Theft, Obstruction of Correspondence, and Conspiracy by a federal grand jury on October 13, 2010.

On December 21, 2009, Stuefen intercepted a $150 Visa gift card delivered by the United States Postal Service, which was mailed to and intended for another person living at a residence formerly occupied by Stuefen. Stuefen made purchases with the Visa gift card at three Wessington Springs area merchants.
Six random blank checks were stolen from a pickup truck used by Stuefen and owned by his employer. The checks were filled out and the employer’s name was forged on the signature line. The checks were cashed between January 4 and 29, 2010. The six checks totaled $3,555.

A third individual lost his credit card in Sioux Falls. The credit card was used without the card owner’s consent 19 times at four different convenience stores in Wessington Springs and Huron, South Dakota. The transactions totaled $701.99. Loren Stuefen shared in the fruits of those purchases.
Stuefen pled guilty to Obstruction of Correspondence on March 8, 2011.

This case was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service. Assistant United States Attorney Jay Miller prosecuted the case.

Stuefen was immediately turned over to the custody of the United States Marshal to begin serving his sentence.



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