You are here

Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Saturday, May 4, 2019

Six Sioux Falls Residents Sentenced for Conspiracy to Commit Bank Fraud

United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that two men and four women from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, convicted of Conspiracy to Commit Bank Fraud, were sentenced by U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier.

Brande Black, age 40, was sentenced on September 24, 2018, to 18 months in federal prison, followed by 5 years of supervised release, and a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund in the amount of $100.

Wakinyan Gay, age 20, was sentenced on October 22, 2018, to 18 months in federal prison, followed by 5 years of supervised release, restitution in the amount of $11,135.90, and a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund in the amount of $100.

Cornell Butler, age 46, was sentenced on December 10, 2018, to time served, 5 years of supervised release, restitution in the amount of $3,093.13, and a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund in the amount of $100.

Vanessa Carr, age 38, was sentenced on December 27, 2018, to time served, 3 years of supervised release, and a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund in the amount of $100.

Brandy Scholl, a/k/a Brandy Bentine, age 39, was sentenced on January 28, 2019, to 41 months in federal prison, followed by 4 years of supervised release, restitution in the amount of $32,189.07, and a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund in the amount of $100.

Brittany Hockett, age 28, was sentenced on April 12, 2019, to time served, 4 years of supervised release, restitution in the amount of $17,110.04, and a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund in the amount of $100.

All Defendants were indicted by a federal grand jury on April 4, 2018.  Black pled guilty on June 25, 2018; Gay pled guilty on July 26, 2018; Butler pled guilty on July 30, 2018; Carr pled guilty on October 3, 2018; Scholl pled guilty on November 5, 2018; and Hockett pled guilty on February 1, 2019.

The convictions stemmed from incidents beginning on or about July 18, 2017, and continuing through August 30, 2017.  The Defendants knowingly and willfully conspired and agreed together and with each other, to execute a scheme to defraud one or more financial institutions in the District of South Dakota.

In furtherance of the conspiracy, one or more of the conspirators stole legitimate checks from the unsecured mailboxes of various individuals and businesses in the Sioux Falls area, altered the stolen checks by removing some of the original information regarding the payee and the payment amount of the checks, then adding fraudulent payee information and fraudulent payment amounts in order to defraud the financial institutions.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Ann M. Hoffman prosecuted the case.

Black, Gay, and Scholl were immediately turned over to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Component(s): 
Updated May 4, 2019