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Man pleads guilty to fraud involving seven Southern Illinois banks

A Kinmundy, Ill., man has pleaded guilty to five counts of bank fraud.

scalesofjusticelogoDonald S. Boyce, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Illinois said the indictment involving Alfred L. Cross, 75, accused him of defrauding seven southern Illinois banks out of more than $500,000.

In pleading guilty on Friday, March 16, in federal court in East St. Louis, Cross admitted that he opened checking accounts at the following banks: Bradford National Bank in Greenville; Community First Bank of the Heartland in Mount Vernon; the Farmers and Merchants National Bank in Nashville; First Southern Bank in Carbondale; Midland States Bank in Effingham; State Bank of Whittington, in Benton; and Washington Savings Bank, located in Effingham.

After these accounts had been open for a short period of time, Cross deposited into each of the accounts large checks, ranging from $18,875 to $148,000. The checks were drawn on out-of-state bank accounts in the names of businesses that Cross controlled. Cross admitted that at the time he deposited these checks, he knew there were insufficient funds in the out-of-state accounts to cover the checks. Cross further admitted that before the checks could be returned as non-sufficient funds, he withdrew almost all of the funds he had deposited. Cross gave some of these funds to his relatives and used the remainder to pay for personal expenses. Cross conducted this fraud scheme from April 14, 2011, through March 25, 2015.

Each of the bank fraud counts carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million. The court can also order Cross to pay restitution to the victim banks. Cross will be sentenced on May 9, at 9:30 a.m. at the Federal Courthouse in East St. Louis.

The investigation was conducted by agents from the Springfield Division, Fairview Heights Resident Agency, of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Scott A. Verseman.

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