FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A convicted con man who tried to pass himself off as an FBI agent to get perks in the North Dakota oil patch will plead guilty to an illegal weapons charge under an agreement filed in federal court.
Steven Goldmann is charged in federal court with six counts— four counts of impersonating an officer and two illegal weapons charges. Investigators say he regularly displayed a gun, holster, mace and badge, and showed up one day at a Williston coffee shop with a passenger who was handcuffed.
The scam netted Goldmann free coffee, a government rate at a hotel and dog treats for his bogus K-9 unit, according to court documents.
Under the plea agreement, Goldmann would plead guilty to possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon. The remaining five charges would be dropped. He faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
U.S. Attorney Timothy Purdon, of North Dakota, and defense attorney Joshua Sabert Lowther of Savannah, Ga., declined to comment while the case is still open.
Goldmann's previous court-appointed attorney said he is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of his Air Force service in Iraq.
Goldmann's four-year with the Air Force ended in June 2011 at Vance Air Force Base, a military spokesman said. The spokesman would not say whether Goldmann, 26, was honorably discharged.
Williston police began looking into Goldmann's activities in March after an interview with a hotel manager on an unrelated matter. The manager told police Goldmann had portrayed himself as a federal K-9 officer who provided drug interdiction services for a fee to local businesses, court documents show.
Police discovered that Goldmann had pleaded guilty to a theft of services charge in Tennessee in 2013. Authorities say he conned a real estate company, fashion designer, vintage guitar shop, limousine company, a hotel and a helicopter rental company — among others in Nashville — out of tens of thousands of dollars.
Goldmann was also flagged by authorities for writing bad checks in Oklahoma, Minnesota and Montana.