Updated: December 5, 2012 5:06PM
Thirteen Chicago area residents were indicted Tuesday on federal bank fraud charges for allegedly stealing more than $2.5 million in corporate checks from the mail.
Derrick Sledge, 32, and brothers Edward Lindsey, 24, and Emanuel Lindsey, 32, allegedly stole corporate checks then created fake businesses with names spelled similarly to payees on the stolen check between June 2009 and November 2011, according to a release from the U.S. Department of Justice. The three then recruited co-defendants to withdraw the money from ATMs and casinos for a percentage of the proceeds.
The Lindseys and Sledge deposited more than $2.5 million in stolen checks and withdrew nearly $1.6 million, the Dept. of Justice said. Several of the recruited co-defendants traveled to Las Vegas, Nev., several times to withdraw large amounts of cash at various casinos.
Sledge, of Hillside, and the Lindseys, both of Chicago, were each charged with five counts of bank fraud, the Dept. of Justice said. Ten other people were charged with one or more counts of bank fraud.
The group was charged in a federal grand jury indictment unsealed Tuesday after authorities arrested eight members involved in the scheme and four others surrendered to U.S. Postal Inspectors, the Dept. of Justice said. The remaining suspect was already in custody.
The four people who surrendered were identified as Eliana Roldan, 26, of Chicago; DeWayne Rhone, 43, of Westchester; Nyco Plair, 24, of Chicago and Sammy Colon, 32, of Chicago, the Dept. of Justice said. Colon was charged with three counts of bank fraud, Rhone and Plair two counts and Roldan one count.
King Solomon Johnson, 43; Tequila Sims, 30; Timothy Polen, 22; Gregory Tharps, 37 and Naisha Jones, 26, all of Chicago, were each charged with one count of bank fraud.
Seneca Reece, 32, of Chicago, was in state custody and was charged with two counts of bank fraud, the Dept. of Justice said.
Each count of bank fraud carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a fine of $1 million, the Dept. of Justice said. The indictment seeks the forfeiture of about $1.6 million.