GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Ryan Steensma, a former Kent County sheriff's deputy, was returned to jail on Tuesday after he violated the terms of his release.
Steensma admitted to involvement in a African gold mining scam connected with swindler Michael Vorce earlier this year.
He was out of jail on bond while he awaited sentencing after he pled guilty to one county of money laundering in May.
According to District Court documents submitted on Sept. 12, Steensma's release was revoked after he tried to buy a Harley Davidson motorcycle for $20,000 in July. Steensma allegedly told the seller that he would pay for the motorcycle after a check from his employer cleared. The motorcycle was put in the name of Six Actual LLC, of which Steensma claimed he was a partner.
When payment for the motorcycle never arrived, the seller contacted Six Actual LLC, only to find that the company had never heard of Steensma. He also found that Steensma was trying to sell the motorcycle.
The seller regained possession of the motorcycle. Steensma later expressed shame over the incident and said he was going to shoot himself.
One of the terms of Steensma's release, according to the U.S. government, was that he not commit any criminal activity. The goverment claimed that Steensma's attempted fraud constitutes a crime and asked that the court revoke he release. It also claimed that Steensma's threat to commit suicide proved he was a danger to himself.
Steensma is currently in custody of U.S. Marshals waiting for a hearing Thursday to determine if he violated conditions of his release and if his bond should be revoked.
Sentencing on the money laundering charge is set for 10.5.11.
Steensma faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000.
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