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Press Release

Man from Las Vegas, Nevada sentenced to 3 years in federal prison for wire fraud targeting military member

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Mexico

            ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Richard E. Sipe, 39, of Las Vegas, Nevada was sentenced in federal court in Albuquerque on January 23 to three years (36 months) in prison for wire fraud after executing a scheme to steal money from a member of the Army by convincing her to accept worthless checks in exchange for cash.

            Sipe previously pleaded guilty to this offense on June 11, 2019.   According to public court records, Sipe met the victim at Sky City Casino near Grants, New Mexico.  Sipe gave the victim a false name and convinced her he had adequate money in the bank but had reached his limit to withdraw money from his account.  Sipe asked the victim to give him cash in exchange for checks written on his bank account.  She agreed and gave Sipe cash in exchange for checks totaling $6000 between approximately December 2017 and April 2018.  The victim withdrew the cash from an ATM.  The victim tried to deposit the checks in her bank account but the bank rejected the checks because Sipe’s account was closed.  When the victim confronted Sipe over the phone, he admitted he had been defrauding people for approximately ten years.  Sipe said he specifically targeted military members because he believed they usually had quick access to cash.

            Sipe’s sentence also included an order to pay restitution to the victim.  Sipe must also serve a three-year term of supervised release after completing his prison sentence. 

            The Bureau of Indian Affairs and New Mexico State Police investigated the case.  U.S. Attorney John C. Anderson prosecuted the case.

Updated February 27, 2020

Financial Fraud
Indian Country Law and Justice
Press Release Number: 20-011