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Press Release

New Jersey Man Sentenced for Wire Fraud against Tribal Casino

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

United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that a Mays Landing, New Jersey, man charged with Wire Fraud pled guilty and was sentenced on October 2, 2020, by District Judge Charles B. Kornmann.

Mark A. Johnson, d/b/a Atlantic Power & Equipment, L.L.C., age 60, was sentenced to 41 months in federal prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release, restitution to Dakota Nations Gaming Enterprise in the amount of $149,600, and $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.

Johnson was indicted by a federal grand jury on March 5, 2019. 

The conviction stemmed from an incident between on or about March 2014 and July 2014.

In approximately February 2014, the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate (SWO) Tribal Council authorized the Dakota Magic Casino to purchase lawn maintenance equipment.  The Dakota Nation Gaming Enterprise (DNGE) oversees gaming operations occurring on the SWO Reservation, including operations at the Dakota Magic Casino.

On or about March 25, 2014, Johnson submitted a proposal to the DNGE to provide refurbished lawn maintenance equipment.  Johnson falsely and fraudulently represented that the equipment would be delivered to the Dakota Magic Casino four to six weeks after the date of order.  The DNGE agreed to purchase the refurbished lawn maintenance equipment from Johnson.

On or about March 28, 2014, Dakota Magic Casino prepared and mailed a check for $149,600 payable to Atlantic Power & Equipment, LLC as full payment for the refurbished lawn maintenance equipment.  Johnson received and deposited the check and used the funds for his own purposes.  This transaction involved an interstate wire transmission on or about March 31, 2014, from Dacotah Bank in South Dakota to Wells Fargo Bank in New Jersey, through the Endpoint Exchange in Oklahoma.  The equipment was never delivered to the Dakota Magic Casino, nor did Johnson refund the money to the Dakota Magic Casino. 

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ann M. Hoffman. 

Johnson was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

Updated October 6, 2020