BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A convicted con man and military veteran accused of impersonating an FBI agent in the North Dakota oil patch was sentenced Friday to the time he's already spent in prison, during a hearing where he spoke about suffering post-traumatic stress disorder.
Steven Goldmann, 27, of Portland, Oregon, still faces a hearing on a warrant for violating his probation in Tennessee, where he pleaded guilty two years ago to felony theft of services. He said in court he will fight being returned to that state, where authorities say he conned several Nashville companies out of tens of thousands of dollars.
Authorities say in North Dakota, Goldmann regularly displayed a gun, holster, mace and badge in Williston, portraying himself as a federal agent to earn perks ranging from free coffee to treats for a dog he passed off as a K-9 unit. In one instance, he showed up at a Williston coffee shop with a passenger who was handcuffed, to further the scheme.
Goldmann told U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland that he wants to seek treatment for PTSD resulting from three Air Force tours of duty in Iraq, and he read a letter to the judge from a military superior who lauded his performance overseas.
"When I came back from Iraq, there was no grace period to reintegrate back into society," Goldmann said. "I went from an operations schedule (in Iraq) of 18 hours a day working very, very hard to not doing a whole lot."
Goldmann said he didn't seek help because of pride.
"I didn't want to tell anybody I was broken," he said.
Goldmann pleaded guilty in January to being a felon in possession of a firearm, under a deal in which prosecutors agreed to dismiss four impersonation counts. Assistant U.S. Attorney David Hagler said in court on Friday that Goldmann was given credit for providing useful information about a fellow inmate in another federal case, and for alerting officials at the jail in Devils Lake about two other inmates who were discussing escape.
Goldmann told Hovland he believes his actions might have saved some law officers from being harmed.
"In my humble opinion, my actions probably impacted the two inmates' ability to escape from that facility," he said.
Under the recommendation of attorneys on both sides, Hovland sentenced Goldmann to time served — about 17 months — and three years of supervised release. Hovland said it would be up to the U.S. Marshals Service to determine if Goldmann needs to be extradited to Tennessee. A service representative said a hearing was planned but did not elaborate.
"My hope, sir, is you can put this behind you and move on with your life," Hovland said.