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Press Release

North Dakota Woman Sentenced for Theft

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Dakota
Defendants 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 Yates, North Dakota, woman convicted of Theft by an Employee of an Indian Gaming Establishment was sentenced on November 18, 2019, by U.S. District Judge Charles B. Kornmann.

Candace Crow Ghost, age 42, was sentenced to 160 days in federal prison, followed by 24 months of supervised release, restitution in the amount of $5,300.83, and a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund in the amount of $100.    

Crow Ghost was indicted by a federal grand jury on March 12, 2019.  She pled guilty on August 27, 2019.

Between December 2016 and March 2017, Crow Ghost was the marketing director for the Grand River Casino, located on the Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation.  Crow Ghost developed a scheme whereby she would obtain prescription pain pills by adjusting points on individual players club rewards cards to pay for the drugs she was receiving.  After adjusting the points, Crow Ghost would prepare vouchers and help the individuals redeem their illegally obtained points for cash.  Crow Ghost would also comp rooms and meals to the individuals involved in the scheme.  During the course of her employment, Crow Ghost added 426,000 points to various players’ accounts and comped over $1,000 in rooms and meals, resulting in a total loss to the Grand River Casino of $5,300.83.

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.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Troy R. Morley prosecuted the case.

Crow Ghost was immediately turned over to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

Updated November 23, 2019

Financial Fraud
Indian Country Law and Justice