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Former West Fargo day care operator indicted for witness tampering

Tracy Rankin formerly operated King of the Jungle day care in West Fargo. Forum file photo

FARGO - A former West Fargo day care operator who faces fraud and identity theft charges now has been indicted for witness tampering.

Tracy Ann Rankin, also known as Tracy Ann Roach and Tracy Ann Hendricksen, is accused of threatening a government witness in the case against her.

The indictment, unsealed Monday in U.S. District Court in Fargo, augments an earlier indictment filed in February accusing Rankin of bilking five banks out of $76,183.

Nick Chase, the assistant U.S. attorney who is prosecuting the case, declined to comment on the new indictment.

Bruce Quick, Rankin's defense lawyer, said he has not gotten details of the revised indictment.

"I don't know anything about it," Quick said Monday. "I don't have any information at all."

Rankin is accused of threatening bodily harm against witness Pam Kalk, according to the indictment. Efforts to reach Kalk were unsuccessful.

Prosecutors disclosed witness statements to the defense as part of the routine pretrial "discovery" process under an order filed last February.

The identity theft charges accuse Rankin, whose married name recently changed to Roach, of using the identities of two victims to rack up bank credit card charges.

Rankin once ran the King of the Jungle child care center in West Fargo, which closed last November. The center was cited by inspectors for several deficiencies.

The subject of small claims and collection cases, Rankin filed for bankruptcy protection in 2007, listing debts of $55,293 and assets of $10,995.

Rankin, who pleaded not guilty earlier to seven counts, is scheduled to appear Thursday for an arraignment on the new indictment.