Former Office Manager for the Rapid City Rush Hockey Team Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud and Tax Evasion
United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that a Rapid City, South Dakota, woman pleaded guilty to two counts of Wire Fraud and one count of Tax Evasion in federal district court.
Jennifer Durham, age 42, was charged on June 30, 2020. Durham appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Veronica L. Duffy on July 16, 2020, and pleaded guilty to the felony charges. The maximum penalty on each of the wire fraud counts is 20 years in federal prison and/or a $250,000 fine, 3 years of supervised release, and $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. The maximum penalty on each the tax evasion count is 5 years in federal prison and/or a $250,000 fine, 3 years of supervised release, and $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. Restitution may also be ordered.
Between February 2010 and June 2019, Durham, while employed as the office manager for Rapid City Professional Hockey, LLC (RCPH), stole $700,000.00 from RCPH. Durham used the stolen money for her own personal expenses and also transferred money to bank accounts she controlled. In order to cover up her theft, Durham made false entries into the RCPH accounting records to give the illusion the money she was stealing was spent on legitimate business expenses.
During the same time period, Durham also willfully attempted to evade or defeat taxes imposed under the Internal Revenue Code. Durham accomplished this by underreporting her income from tax years 2010 through 2018 by a total of $688,867.67, resulting in a tax loss of $186,277.00.
As part of the plea agreement, Durham agreed to pay restitution to RCPH totaling $700,000.00, and to pay the IRS $186,277.00.
The investigation was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Patterson is prosecuting the case.
Durham was released pending sentencing, to be scheduled at a later date.