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Press Release

Two Box Elder Men Indicted on Multiple Fraud Charges

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

United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that two Box Elder, South Dakota, men has been indicted by a federal grand jury for Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud, Wire Fraud, and Unauthorized Access to a Protected Computer to Defraud.

Jacob Sheldon LaFlash, age 25, and Bryan Bernhold, age 25, were indicted on January 22, 2020.  LaFlash appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Daneta L. Wollman on January 24, 2020, and pled not guilty to the Indictment.  Bernhold appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Daneta L. Wollman on September 18, 2020, and also pled not guilty to the Indictment. 

The maximum penalty upon conviction is up to 20 years in federal prison and/or a $250,000 fine, 3 years of supervised release, and up to $900 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.  Restitution may also be ordered.

Count 1 of the Indictment alleges that beginning on or about October 5, 2017, through on or about May 1, 2018, both LaFlash and Bernhold knowingly and intentionally conspired with each other, to commit wire fraud.

Counts 2 through 8 allege individual counts of wire fraud, and Count 9 alleges unauthorized access to a computer for the purpose of fraud.

The charges are merely accusations and LaFlash and Bernhold are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. 

The investigation is being conducted by the Department of Homeland Security.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey C. Clapper is prosecuting the case.   

LaFlash and Bernhold were released on bond pending trial.  LaFlash’s trial date has been set for May 31, 2021.

Updated September 23, 2020