Sioux City, Iowa — Ranae Harriet Van Roekel, 48, from Hull, Iowa, pled guilty Thursday in federal court in Sioux City and was convicted of one count of mail fraud and one count of filing a false tax return.
Evidence produced at the plea hearing revealed, from about January 2008 to about June 2012, Van Roekel, used the internet, phone networks, and the United States Mail, to claim to have access to tickets to various events (including Super Bowl XLVI) at steeply discounted prices because of some claimed personal relationship, membership, or association with the events or related organizations. For example, she claimed to have come by access to discounted Super Bowl XLVI tickets by fraudulently claiming she was a member of the Super Bowl Planning Committee. She then collected money from victims, through the United States Mail purportedly for the purpose of obtaining these tickets, hotel rooms, and other goods and services, but then claimed she could not fill most of the orders. Defendant paid some victims “refunds” with money from newly acquired victims to prevent detection of the scheme.
Sentencing before United States District Court Judge Leonard T. Strand will be set after a presentence report is prepared. Van Roekel remains free on bond previously set; Van Roekel faces up to 20 years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, $100 in special assessments, and up to three years of supervised release following any imprisonment on the mail fraud count, and up to 8 years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, $100 in special assessments, and up to one year of supervised release following any imprisonment on the filing a false income tax return count.