An Alton man was sentenced to three years in federal prison Friday on a conviction for bank fraud and submitting false loan applications to a financial institution.
In a press release, Acting U.S. Attorney James L. Porter said U.S. District Judge David R. Herndon sentenced Christopher William Kreider, 29, to 37 months in federal prison.
Kreider pleaded guilty to the charges in this case on Dec. 17, 2014. In pleading guilty, Kreider admitted that from March 4, 2010, through May 31, 2011, he defrauded the Alton Bell Community Credit Union by causing false loan applications to be submitted. Kreider engaged in a practice known as “straw borrowing.” Kreider owned a landscaping business in Alton known as Lawnscape Lawn and Excavation. In an effort to keep this failing business afloat, Kreider solicited friends and employees to apply for loans, in their names, with Alton Bell Community Credit Union. The proceeds of these loans were either turned over to Kreider or applied for his benefit.
During the sentencing hearing, Herndon found Kreider’s crimes caused a loss of $158,286 to the credit union. In addition to the prison sentence, the court ordered Kreider to pay restitution of $207,116. This figure includes the loss amount and the audit feeds incurred by the credit union as it investigated the damage caused by Kreider’s crimes. In addition, the court ordered Kreider to serve a period of five years of supervised release after he is released from prison.
The case was investigated by the Springfield, Illinois, Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The prosecution was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Verseman.