Sturgis lawyer faces more fraud charges

Pictured is Rena Hymans. Courtesy photo

STURGIS — Disbarred Sturgis lawyer Rena Hymans is facing new charges alleging that she took money from the estate of a second client.

Hymans pleded not guilty Monday, Aug. 24, in U.S. District Court in Rapid City to more than 40 charges which included wire fraud, money laundering and bank fraud.

Those charges stemmed from Hymans allegedly spending client Leo Drillig’s inheritance of more than $168,000.

New charges were filed against Hymans in a superseding indictment on Sept. 17 alleging she transferred money totaling $50,000 from her client trust fund meant for the Gilbert Keester Estate.

Rather than holding the money in her client trust account until the Gilbert Keester Estate was settled as she was required to do, Hymans used the embezzled funds for business-related and personal expenses, court documents show.

Hymans also is being charged with mail fraud after she allegedly sent a letter to Robert Martin who represented one of the parties in the case involving the Gilbert Keester Estate. She told him in the letter sent in May 2016 that no distributions had been made from the $50,000 held in trust.

According to court records,  Hymans well knew that by May 31, 2016, she already had spent the entire $50,000 and that her client trust account had a balance of just $2,060.39, which belonged to other clients.

She now faces 38 counts of wire fraud, 16 counts of money laundering, one count of mail fraud and one count of bank fraud.

She is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Rapid City on today on all charges.

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