Sioux Falls Woman Tessa Crawford Charged with Bank Fraud and Theft or Receipt of Stolen Mail Matter

(STL.News) – United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that a Sioux Falls, South Dakota, woman has been indicted by a federal grand jury for Bank Fraud and Theft or Receipt of Stolen Mail Matter.

Tessa Crawford, age 23, was indicted on October 8, 2019.  She appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark A. Moreno on October 15, 2019, and pled not guilty to the Indictment.

The maximum penalty upon conviction is up to 30 years in federal prison and/or a $250,000 fine, 5 years of supervised release, and up to $200 to the Federal Crime Victims Fund.  Restitution may also be ordered.

The Indictment alleges that beginning on or about November 8, 2017, and continuing through on or about February 14, 2018, Crawford, along with others, knowingly executed and attempted to execute a scheme and artifice to defraud several banks and to obtain money, funds, credits, assets, securities, and other property owned by, and under the custody and control of, the banks.  More specifically, Crawford altered checks drawn on the accounts of various individuals and then negotiated said checks for her own purpose and benefit.  Crawford also recruited others to negotiate the checks on her behalf.

The Indictment also alleges that Crawford stole, took and abstracted, and attempted to steal, take and abstract letters, postal cards, packages, bags, and mail out of mail boxes, mail receptacles, and other authorized mail depositories, and embezzled and destroyed such letters, postal cards, packages, bags, and mail and articles and things contained therein, namely envelopes containing multiple checks that did not belong to her.

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

The investigation is being conducted by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ann M. Hoffman is prosecuting the case.

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