Alcester woman indicted by federal grand jury for wire fraud

May 22, 2023

SIOUX FALLS – United States Attorney Alison J. Ramsdell announced that a federal grand jury has indicted an Alcester, South Dakota, woman for ten counts of Wire Fraud.

Michelle Warner, age 56, was indicted in May of 2023. She appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Veronica L. Duffy on May 18, 2023, and pleaded not guilty to the Indictment.

The maximum penalty upon conviction is up to 20 years in federal prison and/or a $250,000 fine, three years of supervised release, and up to $1,000 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. Restitution may also be ordered.

The Indictment alleges that beginning on or about June 1, 2018, and continuing through May 17, 2022, Warner, who was employed as a bookkeeper/accountant, and later as a business administrator, devised and intended to devise a scheme and artifice to defraud and obtain money and property from others by means of false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises.

The Indictment alleges that Warner, in her capacity as bookkeeper/accountant and business administrator, falsely and fraudulently paid herself additional and unauthorized payroll payments and then used the funds for her own purposes. Warner also caused her employer to remit payroll tax to the Internal Revenue Service on her behalf. Such funds purportedly came from withholding from Warner’s payroll check, when in fact, as Warner then and there knew, she did not actually withhold those funds from her payroll check. Additionally, Warner used her employer’s credit card without authority for her own personal use.

The charges are merely accusations and Warner is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

The investigation is being conducted by the FBI, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Union County Sheriff’s Office, and the South Sioux City (NE) Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ann M. Hoffman is prosecuting the case.

Warner was released on bond pending trial. A trial date has not been set.