Former South Dakota Attorney Indicted for Fraud and Money Laundering

United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that a Vale, South Dakota,  woman was charged in federal district court with thirty counts of Wire Fraud, ten counts of Money Laundering, and one count of Bank Fraud.  

Rena M. Hymans, age 48, was indicted by a federal grand jury on August  20, 2020. Hymans appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Daneta Wollmann on August 24, 2020, and pleaded not guilty to the charges. The maximum penalty on each count of wire fraud is 20 years in federal prison and/or a $250,000 fine, 3 years of supervised release, and $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.

The maximum penalty on each count of money laundering is 20 years in federal prison and/or a $500,000 fine, or twice the value of the property involved in the transaction, whichever is greater, 3 years of supervised release, and $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. The maximum penalty for bank fraud is 30 years in federal prison and/or a $250,000 fine, 5 years of supervised release, and $100 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. Restitution may also be ordered.

The indictment alleges that between June 2017 and January 2020, Hymans, in her capacity as a South Dakota licensed attorney, devised a scheme to fraudulently obtain money by transferring it from a client trust account – where she was holding it for the benefit of a client – to her own business and personal accounts and then using the money for her personal benefit.

The investigation was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Patterson is prosecuting the case. The charges are merely accusations and Hymans is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Hymans was released pending trial. A trial date has not been set.

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