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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of South Dakota

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Mission Woman Pleads Guilty To Theft Of Government Funds

United States Attorney Brendan V. Johnson announced that Donna Peterson, age 48, of Mission, South Dakota appeared before U.S. District Court Judge Roberto A. Lange on March 18, 2013 and pled guilty to one count of Theft of Government Funds. The maximum penalty upon conviction is ten years in custody, a $250,000 fine, and 3 years of supervised release.

From 1996 to 2008, Donna Peterson was an employee of Costello Company Property Management. During that time she served as manager of the Sunrise Village Apartment Complex which was managed by Costello Company Property Management and located in Mission, South Dakota. The United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development Agency provided rent subsidy payments to Costello Property Management for tenants who met certain income requirements. Between January 1, 2007 and December 31, 2007, Peterson received cash from tenants in an amount $32,723.36 which she did not deposit in the Sunrise Village bank account, but instead embezzled and misapplied.

The investigation was conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General-Investigations . The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Dennis R. Holmes.

A presentence investigation was ordered and a sentencing date was set for June 3, 2013. The defendant was released on bond pending sentencing.

Updated June 22, 2015