Former Rapid City Rush office manager pleads guilty to wire fraud, tax evasion

RAPID CITY, S.D. — Former office manager of the Rapid City Rush, Jennifer Durham, has pleaded guilty to to two counts of wire fraud and one count of tax evasion in federal district court.

Durham appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Veronica L. Duffy on July 16 and pleaded guilty to the felony charges.

The maximum penalty on each of the wire fraud counts is 20 years in federal prison, or a $250,000 fine, three years of supervised release, and $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. The maximum penalty on the tax evasion count is five years in federal prison, or a $250,000 fine, three years of supervised release, and $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.

Between February 2010 and June 2019, Durham, while employed as the office manager for Rapid City Professional Hockey, LLC (RCPH), stole $700,000.00 from RCPH. Durham used the stolen money for her own personal expenses and also transferred money to bank accounts she controlled. In order to cover up her theft, Durham made false entries into the RCPH accounting records to give the illusion the money she was stealing was spent on legitimate business expenses.

During the same time period, Durham also willfully attempted to evade or defeat taxes imposed under the Internal Revenue Code. Durham accomplished this by underreporting her income from tax years 2010 through 2018 by a total of $688,867.67, resulting in a tax loss of $186,277.00.

As part of the plea agreement, Durham agreed to pay restitution to RCPH totaling $700,000.00, and to pay the IRS $186,277.00.

Durham was released pending sentencing, which is to be scheduled at a later date.

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News