Former Mattoon man pleads guilty to $500,000 of bank fraud

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EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill.  (WAND)- A former Mattoon resident pleaded guilty to federal charges of defrauding banks in Central and Southern Illinois of more than $500,000.

Alfred Cross, 75, who now lives in Kinmundy pleaded guilty to five counts of bank fraud in Federal Court in East St. Louis on Friday.

In pleading guilty Friday, Cross admitted to opening checking accounts at Midland States Bank and Washington Savings Bank in Effingham, along with banks in Mt. Vernon, Nashville and Benton, Illinois. After these accounts had been open a short time, Cross deposited checks for large sums of money ($18,875 to $148,000).

Authorities said the checks were drawn on out-of-state accounts in the names of businesses Cross controlled. Cross admitted that, when he deposited the checks, he knew there were insufficient funds to cover them and that, before the checks could be returned, he withdrew almost all the funds he had deposited.

Investigators say Cross gave some of the money to relatives and used the rest for personal expenses.

Prosecutors say Cross conducted the scheme from April 14, 2011 through March 25, 2015. Each fraud counts carries a maximum sentence of thirty years in prison and a fine of up to $1,000,000.

Cross is set to be sentenced May 9 at the Federal Courthouse in East St. Louis.

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