News and Press Releases

Pierre Man Sentenced on Fraud Charge

July 24, 2012
Contact: Mark E. Salter
Assistant United States Attorney

U.S. Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that Erik Sayer, age 36, of Pierre, appeared before U.S. District Judge Roberto A. Lange on July 19, 2012, and pled guilty to Count II of a Superseding Indictment that charged him with Wire Fraud. The maximum penalty upon conviction is 20 years' imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, or both.

Erik Sayer was sentenced to 42 months in custody, 3 years of supervised release, a $100 assessment, and restitution in the amount of $218,863.11 to Dell, Inc.

The conviction stems from a scheme between December 2007 and June 2011 when Erik Sayer and a co-defendant devised a scheme to obtain money and property from Dell, Inc. by means of false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises, and did so by means of wire communication, writings, signs, signals, and sounds, approximating 616 transactions totaling approximately $242,926.25.

The defendants would identify service tags of existing Dell, Inc. computers and utilize the Dell, Inc. website to fraudulently transfer ownership of the Dell, Inc. computer from the registered owners to themselves.

The defendants would then contact Dell Technical Support and claim that their Dell, Inc. computer was not functioning appropriately and properly, providing Dell, Inc. with the fraudulently obtained computer identifying information. They would negotiate to receive a replacement component, or in some cases, a replacement computer, pursuant to the warranty provisions of the computer, have the parts or computers shipped to one of five different addresses in Pierre, and then would sell the computer parts on eBay.

During the dates of the conspiracy, and as part of the scheme, the defendants had active PayPal accounts to collect the proceeds from the sale of the computers, computer components, and computer parts that the defendants sold. Approximately $200,000 was deposited into the defendants' PayPal accounts during the dates of the conspiracy. Both defendants had Wells Fargo bank accounts associated with their PayPal accounts to accumulate the proceeds of their scheme and fraud.

The investigation was conducted by the U.S. Secret Service. First Assistant U.S. Attorney Randolph J. Seiler prosecuted the case.

Erik Sayer was allowed to self-report to the U.S. Marshal Service in Pierre, South Dakota, no later than 11:00 a.m. on August 2, 2012.



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