Boise busi­ness cheated SD tribe, groups tied to Alaska Na­tives

The Idaho Statesman (Sunday) - - FRONT PAGE - BY AU­DREY DUT­TON adut­[email protected]­hostates­man.com

A com­pany in Boise that sells posters to raise money for schools has ad­mit­ted to de­fraud­ing a South Dakota tribe and at least two or­ga­ni­za­tions tied to Alaska Na­tives. The com­pany — All Around Sports — took hun­dreds of thou­sands of dol­lars, court doc­u­ments say.

Fed­eral pros­e­cu­tors say All Around Sports de­vised a fraud scheme that it used be­tween De­cem­ber 2015 and De­cem­ber 2016 to take more than $360,000 from the vic­tims.

All Around Sports runs a call cen­ter on Franklin Road in Boise, staffed with sales­peo­ple who try to get busi­nesses to buy ad­ver­tise­ments, pros­e­cu­tors said. Those ad­ver­tise­ments are printed on posters and other prod­ucts that pro­mote nearby schools, with ad­ver­tis­ing pro­ceeds go­ing to the schools’ ath­letic pro­grams, ac­cord­ing to the All Around Sports web­site.

“All Around Sports and [owner] Chris Hoshaw have reached an agree­ment with the De­part­ment of Jus­tice in South Dakota to re­solve the mat­ters set forth in the le­gal plead­ings,” Boise at­tor­ney Scott Mckay said in an emailed state­ment on his clients’ be­half. “The com­pany and Mr. Hoshaw ac­cept re­spon­si­bil­ity for these mat­ters. The com­pany has im­ple­mented changes to its busi­ness prac­tices to en­sure this does not oc­cur again.”

THE SCHEME

Pros­e­cu­tors say the busi­ness took $54,000 from the Oglala Sioux Tribe in Pine Ridge,

South Dakota. It con­vinced an em­ployee at a lo­cal col­lege, the Oglala Lakota Col­lege, to sign an au­tho­riza­tion form. All Around Sports used that form to get money wired from the tribe’s bank ac­count, prose-

cu­tors said.

An All Around Sports em­ployee “made vary­ing mis­rep­re­sen­ta­tions to vic­tims to in­duce them to [elec­tron­i­cally sign] these forms,” pros­e­cu­tors said.

The busi­ness also took $218,900 from Kokar­muit Corp., de­scribed as a Na­tive re­tail com­pany in Akiak, Alaska, and $90,000 from the Alaskan city of Am­bler, a small town of mostly Ku­u­vang­miut Iñu­piat res­i­dents. Pros­e­cu­tors did not say how All Around Sports ac­com­plished that, only that it was try­ing “to fur­ther the ob­jec­tives of the con­spir­acy to com­mit wire fraud in 2016.”

Of­fi­cials at the Oglala Lakota Col­lege told the States­man that they got nu­mer­ous threat­en­ing calls and faxes from the Boise com­pany, de­mand­ing “ab­surd amounts of money.”

BOISE OWNER TO PLEAD GUILTY

Hoshaw on Dec. 6 signed a plea agree­ment on his and the com­pany’s be­half, ad­mit­ting to the charges.

Hoshaw said he would waive in­dict­ment and plead guilty to wire fraud. The max­i­mum penalty is 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both, and three years of pa­role or pro­ba­tion.

The com­pany ad­mit­ted to one count of con­spir­acy to com­mit wire fraud, with a max­i­mum penalty of pro­ba­tion, a $500,00 fine or both.

Un­der the plea deal, Hoshaw and the com­pany agreed to “use their best ef­forts” to pay resti­tu­tion to the vic­tims at or be­fore sen­tenc­ing. All Around Sports must pay $109,450 to the Kokar­muit Corp. and $90,000 to the city of Am­bler.

The com­pany also is be­ing sued by an­other Alaska Na­tive cor­po­ra­tion in a re­mote vil­lage. The com­plaint, filed by Mary’s Igloo Na­tive Corp., al­leges un­fair trade prac­tices. The States­man has re­quested copies of the law­suit.

PRE­VI­OUS AL­LE­GA­TIONS

The com­pany in 2012 was ac­cused by the Idaho At­tor­ney Gen­eral’s Of­fice of break­ing the law.

Court records filed in Canyon County show the at­tor­ney gen­eral once al­leged that Hoshaw and All Around Sports broke tele­phone so­lic­i­ta­tion and con­sumer pro­tec­tion laws. The com­pany re­peat­edly called Idaho con­sumers, sent “false and mis­lead­ing in­voices to Idaho con­sumers to col­lect debts [they] did not owe” and claimed the busi­ness was Bbb-ac­cred­ited when it wasn’t, the doc­u­ments al­lege.

Hoshaw and All Around Sports signed an agree­ment in March 2012 with the at­tor­ney gen­eral in which they promised to fol­low con­sumer pro­tec­tion laws un­til Dec. 31, 2015.

That doc­u­ment said it should not be con­strued as an ad­mis­sion that the com­pany broke any laws, and could not be used as ev­i­dence of wrong­do­ing, but was signed to avoid lit­i­ga­tion. Hoshaw de­nied the ac­cu­sa­tions by the at­tor­ney gen­eral, it said.

On the re­cent fed­eral charges, Hoshaw is sched­uled for a plea hear­ing on Jan. 28 in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Au­drey Dut­ton: 208-377-6448, @au­drey­dut­ton

DARIN OSWALD [email protected]­hostates­man.com

All Around Sports owner Chris Hoshaw plans to plead guilty to a fed­eral fraud charge in con­nec­tion with tak­ing money from three Na­tive/indige­nous en­ti­ties in South Dakota and Alaska.

In­di­anz.com

Pros­e­cu­tors say a Boise busi­ness de­frauded the Oglala Sioux Tribe in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, along with Kokar­muit Corp. and Am­bler, Alaska.

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