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Press Release

Brandon Woman Sentenced for Wire Fraud in McCrossan Boys Ranch Embezzlement Case

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Dakota

United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that a Brandon, South Dakota, woman convicted of Wire Fraud was sentenced on September 23, 2019, by U.S. District Judge Lawrence L. Piersol.

Crystal Nelson, age 42, was sentenced to 12 months and 1 day in federal prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release, restitution in the amount of $199,533.52 to McCrossan Boys Ranch, and a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund in the amount of $100.

Nelson was indicted by a federal grand jury on February 6, 2019.  She pled guilty on June 26, 2019.

The conviction stemmed from incidents beginning on or about December 2013, and continuing through September 2018, when Nelson, who was the bookkeeper for McCrossan Boys Ranch, falsely and fraudulently inflated her own payroll checks and then used the funds for her own purposes.  She disguised her theft by debiting money from the payroll account and crediting the operating account, and by creating false documentation for McCrossan Boys Ranch’s payroll binder.  Nelson also used the McCrossan Boys Ranch’s credit card without authority for her own personal expenses and stole money from client fund accounts.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Ann M. Hoffman prosecuted the case.

Nelson has been allowed to self-surrender to the U.S. Marshals Service.

Updated September 24, 2019