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Press Release

Ft. Pierre Woman Sentenced for Federal Program Theft

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Dakota
Defendant Prosecuted as Part of The Guardians Project, a Federal Law Enforcement Initiative to Combat Corruption, Fraud, and Abuse in South Dakota

United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that a Fort Pierre, South Dakota, woman convicted of Theft from a Program Receiving Federal Funds was sentenced on June 1, 2020, by Chief Judge Roberto A. Lange, U.S. District Court.

Pamela Duncan, age 53, was sentenced to 1 year of probation, restitution in the amount of $4,000, and a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund in the amount of $100.

Duncan was indicted by a federal grand jury on October 17, 2019.  She pled guilty on February 27, 2020.

Between January 2017 and August 2018, in the District of South Dakota, while employed as an agent of the United Sioux Tribes of South Dakota Development Corporation (USTDC), Duncan, not the rightful owner, did embezzle, steal, obtain by fraud, and intentionally misapply property worth at least $5,000, from USTDC, an organization receiving Federal funds. Duncan removed property and applied funds for personal use, such as laptop computers, gym memberships, attorney services, payroll advances, and travel reimbursement.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael J. Elmore prosecuted the case.

The case was brought as part of The Guardians Project, a federal law enforcement initiative to coordinate efforts between participating agencies, to promote citizen disclosure of public corruption, fraud, and embezzlement involving federal program funds, contracts, and grants, and to hold accountable those who are responsible for adversely affecting those living in South Dakota’s Indian country communities.  The Guardians Project is another step of federal law enforcement’s on-going efforts to increase engagement, coordination, and positive action on behalf of tribal communities.  Led by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the participating agencies include:  Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Offices of Inspector General for the Departments of Interior, Health and Human Services, Social Security Administration, Agriculture, Transportation, Education, Justice, and Housing and Urban Development; Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division; U.S. Postal Inspector Service; U.S. Postal Service, Office of Inspector General.

For additional information about The Guardians Project, please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office at (605) 330-4400.  To report a suspected crime, please contact law enforcement at the federal agency’s locally listed telephone number.

Updated June 2, 2020

Financial Fraud