Rapid City Man Indicted on Multiple Fraud Charges
United States Attorney Randolph J. Seiler announced that a former auditor and fraud investigator for the South Dakota Department of Revenue has been indicted by a federal grand jury for Conspiracy, Wire Fraud, Bank Fraud, Money Laundering, and Tampering.
Steven Arthur Knigge, 69, of Rapid City, was indicted on March 22, 2016, and appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Daneta Wollmann on March 25, 2016. He pleaded not guilty to the Indictment.
The maximum penalty upon conviction is 30 years of imprisonment and/or a $500,000 fine, followed by 5 years of supervised release, and $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. Restitution may also be ordered.
The Indictment charges Knigge with receiving funds fraudulently stolen from the bank accounts of unsuspecting depositors in other States. Thereafter, Knigge transferred most, but not all, of the funds either to individuals in other States or out of the country. Following an interview of him conducted by Internal Revenue Service and Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agents, Knigge, who had used his South Dakota Department of Revenue computer to conduct some of the transactions, deleted thousands of emails and has been, consequently, charged with tampering with evidence. With the assistance of the South Dakota Attorney General’s Office, the emails were recovered from Knigge’s State computer.
“This is a significant prosecution of a public servant committing fraud against innocent citizens, and also represents a serious breach of trust each South Dakota citizen places in its government employees,” said Seiler.
The charges are merely an accusation and Knigge is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
The investigation is being conducted by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ben Patterson is prosecuting the case.
Knigge was released pending trial. A trial date has not been set.