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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, July 1, 2019

U.S. Attorney’s Guardians Project Results in Multiple Defendants Facing Federal Charges and Sentencing for Fraud, Theft, Embezzlement, and Corruption

SIOUX FALLS, SD -  United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced charges in the following cases, all separately noted below, that were brought pursuant to the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Guardians Project.  The Project is 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 United States Attorney’s Office, the participating federal 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.

Five Central South Dakota Women Sentenced for Retaliating Against Witness

Tally Colombe, age 44, Fort Thompson, South Dakota was sentenced on December 19, 2018; Elnita Rank, age 82, Fort Thompson, South Dakota; Kristal Hawk, age 58, Fort Thompson, South Dakota; Ronda Hawk, age 60, Fort Thompson, South Dakota; and Tiffany Monteau, age 44, Chamberlain, South Dakota, were sentenced on February 22, 2019, by U.S. District Judge Roberto A. Lange.  Colombe, Rank, Kristal, Ronda, and Monteau were found guilty following a jury trial on November 2, 2018.

Colombe was sentenced to 4 months in federal prison to run concurrent to her current federal sentence for wire fraud and federal program fraud, followed by 3 years of supervised release, and a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victim’s Fund in the amount of $100.  Rank was sentenced to 12 months supervised release, a $1,000 fine, and a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victim’s Fund in the amount of $100.  Kristal was sentenced to 3 months home confinement, 12 months supervised release, and a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victim’s Fund in the amount of $100.  Ronda and Monteau were both sentenced to 12 months supervised release and a special assessment to the Federal Crime Victim’s Fund in the amount of $100. 

Between September 8, 2017, and September 12, 2017, Colombe, Rank, Kristal, Ronda, and Monteau conspired to knowingly take harmful action against a witness in an attempt to retaliate against her for providing truthful information to law enforcement relating to the commission and possible commission of a federal offense, namely program fraud and wire fraud.  The retaliation included interfering with the lawful employment and livelihood of the witness when Rank, Kristal, Ronda, and Monteau forcibly removed the victim witness from her office and blocked her from performing her contracted duties.

Idaho Man Charged with Wire Fraud and Conspiracy

Calvin Pelichet, age 47 of Boise, Idaho, appeared before a magistrate judge in Idaho on May 15, 2019, and pled not guilty to an Indictment that charged him with Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud and 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.  By and through company representatives, including Pelichet, Kristen DeBoer, and the owner, Christopher Hoshaw, All Around Sports, LLC, willfully and unlawfully devised and intended to devise a scheme and artifice to defraud and to obtain money and property from others by means of false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises.  The object of the conspiracy was to enrich AAS’ owner, managers, and employees by obtaining fraudulent funds.

On or about May 11, 2016, in the District of South Dakota and elsewhere, Christopher A. Hoshaw and Kristen DeBoer devised and intended to devise a scheme and artifice to defraud the Oglala Sioux Tribe, and to obtain money and property by means of materially false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises. 

Hoshaw was released on bond pending sentencing.  His sentencing date is currently set for August 12, 2019.  In addition to the guilty pleas of Hoshaw and All Around Sports, LLC, Kristin DeBoer pleaded guilty for her role in the fraud scheme on July 30, 2018.  DeBoer was released on bond pending sentencing.  Her sentencing date is currently set for August 12, 2019.

Pelichet made his appearance in the District of South Dakota at the federal courthouse in Sioux Falls on June 26, 2019.  The charges are merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.  Pelichet has been detained.

Two Former Crow Creek Tribal Court Clerks Charged with Embezzlement

Kathleen Goodlow, age 68, and Christine Reed, age 41, were indicted on May 8, 2019, for Embezzlement and Theft from an Indian Tribal Organization.

The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

The Indictment alleges that from August 2017 through October 2018, Goodlow and Reed embezzled and converted to their own use more than $1,000 of monies, funds, credits, goods, assets, and other property belonging to the Crow Creek Tribal Court, an Indian Tribal Organization. 

Goodlow recently signed a plea agreement and is expected to change her plea to guilty in the near future.

Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Employee Charged with Larceny

Doris White, age 70 of Eagle Butte, South Dakota, was indicted for Larceny on May 8, 2019.  White made her appearance in federal court in Pierre, South Dakota, on May 30, 2019, and she pleaded not guilty to the charge. 

The Indictment alleges that between January 2005 and November 2017, White unlawfully took and carried away, with the intent to steal and purloin, the personal property of others, namely, money and funds belonging to Individual #1 and Individual #2, both known by the Grand Jury and by Defendant, of a value in excess of $1,000.

The charges are merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

A trial is currently scheduled for July 30, 2019.

Former Secretary of Oglala Sioux Tribal Office Pleads Guilty to Embezzlement

A former Secretary of the Oglala Sioux Tribe’s Credit and Finance Office pleaded guilty to Embezzlement and Theft from an Indian Tribal Organization.  Helen Hernandez, age 41, entered her guilty plea in federal court in Rapid City, South Dakota, on April 5, 2019. 

According to court documents, from February 2014 through June 2015, Hernandez embezzled and converted to her own use more than $1,000 of monies, funds, credits, goods, assets, and other property belonging to the Credit and Finances Office of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, an Indian Tribal Organization.  During the time of the embezzlement, Hernandez was serving as the Secretary of that office.

Hernandez’s sentencing hearing is currently scheduled for July 25, 2019. 

Business Owner & Business Federally Indicted for Embezzlement from Sisseton-Wahpeton Tribal Organizations

A business owner and his business have been indicted by a federal grand jury for Embezzlement and Theft from an Indian Tribal Organization.  Dustin Martin Kirk, age 46 of Sisseton, South Dakota, was indicted on March 5, 2019, on two counts of embezzlement and theft from an Indian Tribal Organization.  Two counts in the indictment relate to his dissolved business, Siouxland Lumber & Materials, LLC.  Kirk and his business appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge William D. Gerdes on June 17, 2019, and pleaded not guilty to the Indictment. 

The Indictment alleges that between in or about August 2016 and December 2018, in the District of South Dakota, Dustin Martin Kirk and his business embezzled, stole, and converted more than $1,000 of monies, funds, credits, goods, assets, and other property belonging to Dakota Nation Development Corporation and the Sisseton-Wahpeton Housing Authority, both of which are entities of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Sioux Tribe and Indian Tribal Organizations.

The charges are merely an accusation and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

A trial is currently scheduled for September 24, 2019.

New Jersey Man Charged with Wire Fraud

Mark Johnson, age 58, of Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, was indicted for Wire Fraud on March 5, 2019.  Johnson made an appearance in federal court in New Jersey, on May 3, 2019.  His initial appearance in federal court in South Dakota has yet to be scheduled. 

The Indictment alleges that between March 2014 and July 2014, Mark Johnson, d/b/a Atlantic Power & Equipment, LLC, devised a scheme and artifice to defraud and obtain money from the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate by means of false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises.

The charges are merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Business Owner Indicted for Wire Fraud and Theft of Government Property 

Robert Bland, age 51, of Rapid City, South Dakota, was indicted on May 21, 2019, for eighteen counts of wire fraud and one count of theft of government property.   Bland, the owner of Motive Magic Mobile Windshield Repair, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Daneta Wollmann on June 6, 2019, and pleaded not guilty to the charges.  The Indictment alleges that between March 2011 and April 2018 Bland fraudulently billed for windshield rock chip repairs that were never done on General Services Administration vehicles.

The charges are merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.  A trial is currently scheduled for August 13, 2019.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jeremy R. Jehangiri, Ann M. Hoffman, Benjamin Patterson, and Michael J. Elmore prosecuted the cases listed above.

For additional information about The Guardians Project, please contact the United States 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.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Indian Country Law and Justice
Component(s): 
Updated July 1, 2019