U.S. Attorney’s Guardians Project Results in Multiple Defendants Facing Federal Charges and Sentencing
The Guardians Project
United States Attorney Ron Parsons has announced the following charges and pleas in cases, identified below, brought by the Guardians Project, a collaborative federal law enforcement initiative in the District of South Dakota designed to promote citizen disclosure of public corruption, fraud, and embezzlement involving federal program funds, contracts, and grants, and to hold accountable those responsible for adversely affecting those living in South Dakota’s Indian country communities.
Led by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, participating federal agencies in the Guardians Project include: the Federal Bureau of Investigation; 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; and the 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.
Business Owner Indicted for Bribery Related to Programs Receiving Federal Funds
John Thomas German, age 35 of Peever, South Dakota, was indicted on January 8, 2019, on three counts of bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds. German appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge William D. Gerdes on January 24, 2019, and pleaded not guilty to the Indictment.
The Indictment alleges that on or about November 6,2017, November 17, 2017, and between January 1, 2018, and August 10, 2018, in the District of South Dakota, John Thomas German, Jr., did corruptly give, offer, and agree to give a thing of value to any person intending to influence and reward an agent of the Dakota Nations Development Corporation, in connection with a transaction and series of transactions of the Dakota Nations Development Corporation involving $5,000 or more.
The maximum penalty upon conviction is up to 10 years in prison, and/or a $250,000 fine, or both, 3 years of supervised release, and $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. Restitution may also be ordered.
The investigation is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeremy Jehangiri is prosecuting the case.
The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
Idaho Business Owner and His Company Plead Guilty to Wire Fraud and Conspiracy Charges for defrauding Oglala Sioux Tribe
Christopher A. Hoshaw, age 45, of Meridian, Idaho, appeared before U.S. District Judge Karen E. Schreier on January 28, 2019, and pleaded guilty to an Information that charged him with Wire Fraud. Hoshaw also appeared on behalf of his Boise-based company, All Around Sports, LLC, which pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud.
According to documents filed with the Court, beginning at a time unknown but no later than on or about December 2015, and continuing through December 2016, in the District of South Dakota and elsewhere, All Around Sports, LLC, with others known and unknown to the United States, did conspire to commit the offense of wire fraud. Through company representatives, All Around Sports, LLC, willfully and unlawfully devised a scheme to defraud and obtain money and property from others by means of false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises. Those representatives knowingly participated, using the company as a conduit, by receiving money transfers from sources they knew were the victims of the fraudulent scheme. Those representatives also acted willfully for the purpose of enriching the company and themselves. The object of the conspiracy was to enrich the owner, managers, and employees of All Around Sports, LLC, by fraudulently obtaining funds.
On or about May 11, 2016, in the District of South Dakota and elsewhere, Christopher A. Hoshaw devised and intended to devise a scheme to defraud the Oglala Sioux Tribe, and to obtain money and property by means of materially false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises. For the purpose of executing the scheme, Hoshaw knowingly caused to be transmitted by means of wire communication in interstate commerce the withdrawal of funds from a banking account belonging to the Oglala Sioux Tribe, at The First National Bank of Gordon in Gordon, Nebraska, to an account belonging to All Around Sports, LLC, at Idaho Central Credit Union in the State and District of Idaho. The amount of the wire transfer was $54,000.
A sentencing date was set for April 22, 2019. Hoshaw was released on bond pending sentencing. Another defendant, Kristin DeBoer previously pleaded guilty for her role in the fraud scheme on July 30, 2018. DeBoer was released on bond pending sentencing. Her sentencing date is set for May 6, 2019.
The maximum penalties that the company faces for Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud are probation, $500,000 fine, $400 special assessment to the Victim’s Assistance Fund, restitution, and forfeiture. The maximum penalties that Hoshaw and DeBoer face for Wire Fraud are 20 years in federal prison, $250,000 fine, or both imprisonment and a fine, a term of 3 years of supervised release, a $100 special assessment to the Victim’s Assistance Fund, restitution, and forfeiture.
These investigations are being conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General. The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeremy Jehangiri.