PEEVER, S.D. — A former contracting company owner in far northeast South Dakota will spend seven years in federal prison for his role in a bribery scheme that involved at least two other men.
John Thomas German Jr., 37, of Peever, S.D., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Charles Kornmann in federal court in Aberdeen and will self-report for his prison term at a date to be determined, the South Dakota's U.S. Attorney's Office said this week.
In the scheme, German is convicted of bribing Daniel Thomas White about three years ago for a contract to do dirt work on an elderly low-income housing project for the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate tribe.
White had been serving as director of Dakota Nations Development Corp., which established a limited partnership to pursue low-income housing tax credits to help finance the elderly village complex on tribal land. The tribe committed about $3 million to the project.
German's company was called Tatanka Contracting, and after being in business about 10 months he signed a contract with the corporation for the earthwork for a guaranteed price of $1.07 million, court documents said. A change order raised the contact to $1.12 million.
An investigation found German bribed White to accept the contract. The exact amount of the payments, which White accepted, was not released in a statement about the case.
White pleaded guilty to his role in the scheme this past August and will be sentenced by Kornmann on May 24, 2021.
Also accused in the case is Kevin Trio, 58, a partner in Tatanka Contracting, who was recently charged with making material false statements to federal agents who were investigating the business dealings surrounding the elderly project. He entered a not guilty plea in federal court last week and was released pending a possible trial.
The investigation was conducted by the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office.