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July 1, 2010

CHICAGO WOMAN SENTENCED FOR CHECK CASHING SCHEME

Defendant Sentenced to 8 Years for Fraudulent Purchases of Postage Stamps throughout Chicago area

Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today said that a Chicago woman was sentenced in DuPage County Circuit Court to 8 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) after entering a guilty plea to charges stemming from a wide-ranging scheme in which, using different identities, she used forged checks in more than 100 purchases of postage stamps in amounts ranging from $200 - $400.

Cynthia Stewart of Chicago pleaded guilty to two counts of theft by deception (Class 3 felonies) in connection with the postage stamp purchases she made at numerous post offices throughout Cook, DuPage, Kane, and Lake counties from May through September 2008. Stewart was indicted in spring 2009.

“Through this scheme, Ms. Stewart has stolen more than $38,000 from the U.S. Postal Service and, as a result, from all of the taxpayers,” said Attorney General Madigan. “This type of theft hurts every one of us and we will aggressively prosecute these offenses.”

The prosecution of this case by the Attorney General’s Office was the result of an investigation by the U. S. Postal Inspection Service.

In addition to the 8 year sentence, Judge Daniel Guerin ordered Stewart to pay $38,000 in restitution to the U.S. Postal Service.

Senior Assistant Attorney General Ed Snow of the Attorney General Madigan’s Financial Crimes unit prosecuted the case and Assistant Attorney General Ansh Vaidya assisted Snow in today’s sentencing hearing.

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