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Feds Indict Erickson for Wire Fraud and Money Laundering from 1996 Through 2018

The feds have indicted South Dakota Republican schemer Paul Erickson, not centrally for any shenanigans with convicted Russian agent Maria Butina, but for wire fraud and money laundering stretching back to when Maria was just a Siberian grade-schooler:

United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that a Sioux Falls, South Dakota, man has been indicted by a federal grand jury on 11 counts of Wire Fraud and Money Laundering.

Paul Erickson, age 56, was indicted on February 5, 2019.  He appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark A. Moreno on February 6, 2019, and pleaded not guilty to the Indictment.

The maximum penalty upon conviction is up to 20 years in federal prison for each count, and/or a $250,000 fine for wire fraud, and/or a $500,000 fine for money laundering, 3 years of supervised release, and up to $1,100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.  Restitution may also be ordered.

The Indictment alleges that on or about 1996, through August of 2018, Erickson knowingly and unlawfully devised a scheme and artifice to defraud and to obtain money from many victims by means of false and fraudulent pretense, representations, and promises.  Erickson owned and operated Compass Care, Inc., Investing with Dignity, LLC, and an unnamed venture to develop land in the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota. Erickson made various false and fraudulent representations to individuals located in South Dakota and elsewhere, to induce those investors to give him money to invest in his businesses, which were part of a scheme to defraud them and personally enrich Erickson [U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of South Dakota, press release, 2019.02.06].

The indictment lists some of the hogwash Erickson told his investors about his fake senior-care company Compass Care:

Indictment, USA v. Paul Erickson, Case #4:19-cr-40015-LLP, 2019.02.05, p. 3.
Indictment, USA v. Paul Erickson, Case #4:19-cr-40015-LLP, 2019.02.05, p. 3.

The indictment further accuses Erickson of bilking investors by telling them he was developing wheelchairs and buying land in North Dakota to build houses for Bakken oilers.

In support of the wire fraud charge, the indictment itemizes 22 checks from Erickson’s victims from 1999 through 2017 totaling $1.2 million:

Indictment, USA v. Paul Erickson, Case #4:19-cr-40015-LLP, 2019.02.05, p. 7.
Indictment, USA v. Paul Erickson, Case #4:19-cr-40015-LLP, 2019.02.05, p. 7.
Indictment, USA v. Paul Erickson, Case #4:19-cr-40015-LLP, 2019.02.05, p. 8.
Indictment, USA v. Paul Erickson, Case #4:19-cr-40015-LLP, 2019.02.05, p. 8.

The only clear Butina connection comes in Count 10, one of three money-laundering charges, in which prosecutors say Erickson transferred “criminally derived property”—$20,472.90— to American University, where “Red Fox” Butina was studying for her master’s degree. That payment is among $93K that Erickson transferred to Butina’s school and several other payments that Wells Fargo flagged for potential money-laundering last year.

Erickson has some of the best legal representation his ill-gotten money can buy. NPR reports that Erickson’s legal team consists of at least South Dakota power attorney Clint Sargent and Virginia “super lawyer” (that’s an actual term) William Hurd.

Virginia is roiled by photos from the 1980s of current officials in blackface. What will happen here in South Dakota as we start digging up the connections between our elected leaders and indicted financial fraudster Paul Erickson?


  1. mike from iowa 2019-02-07 08:23

    State of Corruption gave Marlboro Barbie 4450 bucks contribution? (#25) I did not know that was legal.

  2. leslie 2019-02-07 09:26

    The super lawyer is a professor at Geo Mason U, a Koch institution. Billionaires, Republicans, Billionaires ect

  3. mike from iowa 2019-02-07 10:08

    Thanks for the link, Owen. Feels good to finally have a computer with video and sound.

  4. Roger Cornelius 2019-02-07 17:49

    This is only the first act of the Paul Erickson play, there will be more to come when Maria Butina starts to testify on her republican contacts and the money train to the NRA.
    This story has serious meaning, CNN has been giving it coverage all day.


  5. jerry 2019-02-07 19:16

    One has to wonder who is footing the bill for Mr. Clint. That boy isn’t cheap and neither is his politically connected law firm. Me, I am going with the Democrats on this one. That Sheldon Whitehouse has got some power behind his punches. We may see two heavyweights go down in all of this Russian treason. The National Enquirer just kicked a hornet’s nest with Bezo’s and the NRA who is gonna have to answer up for their treason as well. Check this letter out. Who knew that South Dakota would actually live up to it’s full reputation as the most corrupted state in the union. What pride we can all feel.

  6. leslie 2019-02-07 20:03

    Speaking of Siberia prehistoric Arctic ice caps extended into South Dakota and a new theory holds that terrific melt water floods as deep as the top of Slim Buttes, Cuny Table and Pine Ridge caused by global warming flowed across the Powder River basin around BOTH sides of the rising Black Hills coming back together in the Badlands on the way to the Gulf of Mexico. Eric Clausen, Minot State University professor of geology.

    Looks like climate denial will make a clean sweep of the corrupt SD Republican Party.

  7. Debbo 2019-02-07 21:12

    Chris and Owen, excellent links. Jerry, I couldn’t read the letter, problem with my tablet I think.

    With the House upholding its investigative/oversight duties in DC, this just got a whole lot interestinger.

  8. leslie 2019-02-07 22:01

    Franklin Foer, ATLANTIC, March 2019 writes Richard Palmer CIA station chief Moscow observed and warned Russian kleptocracy was heading west. Today USA is the world leader in money laundering, tax havens and evasion, finessed by top lawyers accountants bankers real estate brokers and developers handling hidden cash. Kleptocracy is here. 3.6M people here die annually because that hidden untaxed money is unavailable for health care infrastructure and good government. Mike Rounds, John Thune, billionaires, and the GOP since 1964, make it so.

  9. Roger Cornelius 2019-02-07 22:27

    I’ve seen interviews with Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and he shows his integrity, he may be one of those Constitutionalist that we need in the Senate.
    The NRA is a source of some pretty dirty money that could end the political careers of any number of republicans. You have to ask yourself why Trey Gowdy and Paul Ryan among others, jumped shipped so early in their careers.

  10. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-02-08 05:51

    John Thune took money from Paul Erickson’s fraudulent company? Chris, that link is perhaps the most important piece of evidence I’ve read all day. Thank you.

  11. Debbo 2019-02-08 13:43

    #2 implicated himself with his July 4th visit to Russia and Pootie last summer. It’s only going to get worse for him.

    I imagine Chinless Wonder McTurtle thought he was expertly covering their tracks, but they didnt reckon with the dogged determination and smarts of Mueller and associates.

  12. 96Tears 2019-02-08 14:24

    It’s amazing, Debbo, isn’t it? They apparently think they’re invisible. Same with the bunch in Pierre. They think nobody will ever bother to hold them accountable. They may have a point.

  13. leslie 2019-02-10 00:52

    96, that’s right. How are we going to makeup 90k votes to win a major seat like Billie was after??

  14. 96Tears 2019-02-10 10:41

    Try. And then keep trying.

    They don’t try, leslie. The leadership is uninspired and uninspiring.

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