Council Bluffs Man Pleads Guilty to Multistate Scheme to Defraud Auto Parts Dealers
United States Attorney Joe Kelly announced that Richard Lang, age 43, of Council Bluffs, Iowa, pleaded guilty in federal court today in Omaha, Nebraska, to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Lang faces up to five years in prison. Senior United States District Judge Laurie Smith Camp will sentence Lang following the completion of a presentence report. Daniel Hendrickson, one of Lang’s co-conspirators, pleaded guilty to the same crime on July 28, 2020, in federal court in Omaha.
From between about February 11, 2018, through about May 17, 2018, Lang and co-conspirators, including Hendrickson, engaged in a scheme in which they obtained property from auto parts stores under false pretenses. Lang and the co-conspirators went to auto parts stores including NAPA Auto Parts, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Bauer Built Tire & Service, Allied Oil & Tire, and GCR Tire & Service, and obtained items, including tires, by falsely claiming to be associated with other business entities. Lang and his co-conspirators did not pay for the items they obtained. Instead, they had the victim auto parts stores bill the business entities that Lang and the co-conspirators claimed to work for. They perpetrated the scheme on at least 70 occasions among auto parts stores in Nebraska, Iowa, and Minnesota. They perpetrated the scheme more than 30 times at auto parts stores in Omaha. At least about $67,000 in property was obtained via the scheme.
The case was investigated by Omaha Police Department, the Bellevue Police Department, the Fremont, Nebraska Police Department, the Council Bluffs, Iowa Police Department, the Des Moines, Iowa Police Department, the Blue Earth, Minnesota Police Department, and the United States Secret Service.