Sioux City, Iowa — A Hull woman is still waiting to be sentenced in federal court after having pled guilty to fraud in July.
Court records indicate that 48-year-old Ranae Harriet Van Roekel of Hull pled guilty on July 28th 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 US Mail, to claim to have access to tickets to various events (including Super Bowl XLVI  in 2012) at steeply discounted prices because of some claimed personal relationship, membership, or association with the events or related organizations. For example, court records say 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. Court records say she paid some victims “refunds” with money from newly acquired victims to prevent detection of the scheme.
In July, the federal court indicated that sentencing would be set after a presentence report was prepared. Van Roekel remains free on bond previously set. She faces up to 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, $100 in special assessments, and up to three years of supervised release following any prison time on the mail fraud count, and up to 8 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, $100 in special assessments, and up to one year of supervised release following any prison time on the count of filing a false income tax return.
We at KIWA checked on the status of the case, and Lead Attorney in the case for the U.S. Attorney’s office, Jamie Bowers told us that a pre-sentence investigation report is still being prepared. He says they need to make sure that all of the victims are identified, and make sure they are reimbursed. He says they also need to make sure they know how much Van Roekel will owe the government.
Bowers says he expects that Van Roekel’s sentencing will be in March or April and that he would expect that a decision on a sentencing date may be made as early as next week.