Sisseton man sent to prison for scamming cattle ranchers

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ABERDEEN, S.D. — A Sisseton, S.D., man has been sentenced to almost four years in prison and ordered to pay $236,000 in restitution for scamming cattle ranchers in northeast South Dakota.

Keith Hagen, 49, was found guilty on eight counts of fraud by a federal jury on June 28. He was sentenced on Monday in federal court in Aberdeen.

His former wife, Amanda Holy Bull, 33, also of Sisseton, has entered a guilty plea to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud and will be sentenced on Oct. 30.

In the case, Hagen and Holy Bull leased pasture land from the Bureau of Indian Affairs and used the land to provide custom cattle grazing services to cattle producers.They entered into contracts with several cattle producers, knowing that they did not lease enough pasture land to graze all of the cattle for which they had contracted. They took up-front payments from several producers, failed to provide the grazing services, and used the money for personal purposes.  In all Hagen and Holy Bull defrauded producers out of $236,000, said the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Hagen was convicted by the jury this past summer for conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud, three counts of wire fraud and four counts of mail fraud.  

The investigation was conducted by the FBI. Hagen was allowed to self-report to the U.S. Marshals Service to serve his sentence.