Paul Erickson, the former boyfriend of convicted Russian spy Maria Butina, pleaded guilty to 2 charges in South Dakota federal court back in November of 2019. Those charges were money laundering and wire fraud with nothing specifically related to his Russian spy girlfriend, although one of the criminal transactions involved someone with the initials "M.B." - a total coincidence I am sure.
The exact nature of his crimes, based on the plea deal paperwork, states that he took a $100,000 business investment and did not invest it in his real estate development business. That is fraud. Erickson faced nine other charges related to money laundering, but dropped those.
His crimes spanned over 20 years, with multiple investment schemes uncovered that ran from 1996 to 2018 and involved elder care homes and oil fields.
He faced up to 20 years in prison, but was only sentenced to 7 years. His attorneys requested home confinement. Obviously federal prosecutors do not support this.
The Judge had no kind words for him at sentencing.
“You’re a thief, and you have betrayed your friends and family, pretty much everyone you know."
Ironically, even after requesting home confinement due to health issues, the Judge noted that Erickson was not wearing a mask to protect himself. She then denied his request for home confinement, saying:
She added that if he was so concerned about getting coronavirus, he would have taken steps to protect himself, like wearing a mask.
After that exchange, the judge, clearly perturbed, said she was considering a high sentence. She then scolding him on behalf of all of the victims he had defrauded - including friends and family. When it was all said and done, Erickson's request for home confinement was denied. He must report to prison on July 20th for seven long years.
We hope he is one of many Republican criminals heading to prison.