AP NEWS

Man linked to Russian agent asks for delay in fraud case

September 17, 2019

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — An attorney for a South Dakota man linked to an admitted Russian covert agent is asking a judge to delay his client’s trial on accusations he bilked at least $2.3 million from dozens of people in a bogus investment scam.

Businessman and conservative political operative Paul Erickson, of Sioux Falls, is scheduled for trial Oct. 1 on 11 counts of wire fraud and money laundering. Investigators say Erickson spent the money on personal expenses such as motels, flights and college tuition for Maria Butina, his ex-girlfriend.

Butina was sentenced in April to 18 months for gathering intelligence on the National Rifle Association and other groups at the direction of a former Russian lawmaker.

Erickson’s attorney, Clint Sargent, said in a motion filed Tuesday that prosecutors are fine with the delay.