Initial Appearance for Sturgis Meat Crimes
(Pierre) –Three South Dakota men made their initial appearance in court today for criminal charges involving the sale of unregistered Sturgis Meat Service securities. Judge Jerome A. Eckrich III, set a preliminary hearing for January 8 in Meade County. Ronald J. Gapp, Piedmont; Philip Keven Cyre, Watertown; and Robert A. Jewett, Spearfish; were charged in September for selling over $1 million worth of unregistered stock. Gapp is facing charges for selling unregistered securities. Cyre and Jewett are charged with selling unregistered securities and additional charges for the fraudulent sale of a security.
“The sale of unregistered securities is a serious corporate crime, and we’re going to prosecute it to the best of our abilities,” said Chief Deputy Attorney General Larry Long.
In 2001, Gapp, Cyre, and Jewett formed the partnership 3 Pals, Inc. In April 2001, 3 Pals, Inc. entered into a management agreement to effectively take over Sturgis Meat Services. At that time they started selling “service contracts” to cattle producers. According to South Dakota law, the service contracts sold by 3 Pals, Inc. are considered non-exempt securities. The partnership of Gapp, Cyre, and Jewett failed to register these securities and failed to uphold their portion of the service agreement.
Sales records show that 3 Pals, Inc. sold these service contracts to approximately 66 individuals or entities.
An investigation by the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation and the South Dakota Brand Board led to the charges. The prosecution is being handled by Chief Deputy Attorney General Larry Long and Assistant Attorney General Todd Love.