Crime

Mattoon man pleads guilty of committing more than $500,000 in bank fraud

A Mattoon man has pleaded guilty to bank fraud of more than half a million dollars in federal court, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Alfred L. Cross, 75, of Kinmundy — originally from Mattoon — pleaded guilty Friday to five counts of bank fraud. He had been indicted on accusations that he defrauded seven banks out of more than $500,000.

Cross admitted to opening checking accounts at Bradford National Bank in Greenville, Community First Bank of the Heartland in Mount Vernon, 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 in Effingham.

Cross then deposited very large checks in the banks, drawn on out-of-state bank accounts in the names of businesses he controlled, but that had insufficient funds to cover the checks. Cross admitted that before the checks could bounce, he withdrew almost all the funds he had deposited.

Cross conducted the fraud scheme for four years, giving the money to relatives and using some of it for personal expenses. Each charge carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a fine up to $1 million, plus restitution of the funds.

Cross will be sentenced on May 9 in federal court.

Elizabeth Donald: 618-239-2507, @BNDedonald

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