Guericke To Change Plea Ahead Of Upcoming GEAR UP Trial

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A man accused of fraud and conspiracy is changing his plea.

South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley says a change of plea hearing for Dan Guericke will take place on Friday.

Guericke is the former director of Mid Central Educational Cooperative. He’s been accused of altering contracts to avoid an audit into how GEAR UP money was spent.  Guericke previously plead not guilty to fraud and conspiracy

The prosecution has alleged that Guericke also backdated employment contracts with Rick Melmer and Keith Moore after documentation of their consultant work on GEAR UP came into question by lawmakers.

Mid Central Business Manager Scott Westerhuis embezzled more than $1 million from the educational coop before killing himself and his family. 

Guericke is scheduled to change his plea in a hearing at the Douglas County Courthouse in Armour at 10 a.m. on Friday.  Jackley won’t say if the state has struck a plea deal with Guericke. 

A trial for Guericke and Stacy Phelps had been scheduled in Minnehaha County, with jury selection set to begin on October 3.  Jury selection in the Phelps trial is still scheduled to begin next week.  

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