RAPID CITY, S.D. — A retired fraud investigator for the South Dakota Department of Revenue has pleaded guilty to federal bank fraud and money laundering charges.
Steven Knigge, 71, was accused of fraudulently asking banks in several states to wire money to an account in South Dakota belonging to him, while he was working as a state official in the summer of 2015. Banks in Georgia, Arizona, Washington and Texas were targeted, authorities said.
Knigge also was accused of wiring illegally obtained money to an account in Nigeria, and of attempting to delete emails on his state computer after IRS and FBI agents informed him in September 2015 that he was under investigation.
Knigge reached a plea agreement with prosecutors and pleaded guilty Monday, the Rapid City Journal reported. Under the deal, charges of conspiracy, wire fraud, tampering, and additional charges of bank fraud and money laundering were dismissed.
Knigge faces up to 50 years in prison and a possible fine of up to $1.5 million. He faced up to 90 years in prison before the plea agreement.
Prosecutors also are asking that he pay about $31,000 in restitution. A sentencing date wasn’t immediately scheduled.
Information from: Rapid City Journal, http://www.rapidcityjournal.com