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Press Release

Champaign Man Sentenced to Prison for Counterfeit Check Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Central District of Illinois

URBANA, Ill. – Chief U.S. District Judge Sara L. Darrow today sentenced a Champaign, Ill., man, Tommie Slayton, 36, of the 2400 block of Clayton Boulevard, to serve 24 months in prison for engaging in a counterfeit check scheme that resulted in an estimated loss of more than $100,000. Slayton was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals and will begin serving his sentence immediately. In addition, Slayton was ordered to serve three years of supervised release upon completion of his prison term.

On Oct. 20, 2020, U.S. District Judge James E. Shadid sentenced Slayton’s co-defendant  Stephanie Lemons, 43, of the 1200 block of South Vine Street, Urbana, Ill. to serve 18 months in prison for her role in engaging in the counterfeit check scheme. Lemons was ordered to report to the federal Bureau of Prisons on March 2, 2021, to begin serving her sentence. Following her sentence, Lemons was ordered to serve two years of supervised release.

Slayton pleaded guilty to the charges immediately prior to today’s sentencing. In addition to the conspiracy charge, Slayton was charged with seven counts of bank fraud. On Feb. 6, 2020, Lemons entered pleas of guilty to the conspiracy and 19 counts of fraud as charged in the indictment.

Lemons and Slayton conspired together and with others to engage in a scheme to pass more than 120 counterfeit checks from July through December 2018. As a result of the scheme, counterfeit checks were presented at Walmart Stores in Champaign and Bloomington, Ill., and forged checks at Heartland Bank of Champaign, Ill.

The charges are the result of investigation by the FDIC Office of Inspector General and the Champaign and Urbana Police Departments, in cooperation with the Champaign County State’s Attorney’s Office. The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elly M. Peirson in the prosecution.

Updated February 22, 2021

Financial Fraud