Sturgis lawyer pleads not guilty to fraud charges

Pictured is Rena Hymans. Courtesy photo

RAPID CITY — Rena Hymans, the disbarred Sturgis lawyer facing charges she allegedly took money from the estates of two clients, plead not guilty to all charges in U.S. District Court in Rapid City Monday.

A grand jury indicted Hymans on more than 40 charges which included wire fraud, money laundering and bank fraud in August. 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 charges now include 38 counts of wire fraud, 16 counts of money laundering, one count of mail fraud and one count of bank fraud. Each wire fraud counts carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The money laundering counts each carry a penalty of 20 years in prison and up to a $500,000 fine. The mail fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, and the bank fraud carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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