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Press Release

Illinois Man Pleads Guilty to Fraud and Assault Charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Missouri

St. Louis, MO – JASON CRIPE, formerly of Windsor, Illinois, pled guilty to a fraud scheme that criss-crossed Missouri and Illinois and spanned four years.

According to the plea agreement, Cripe admitted to assaulting the federal law enforcement officers who finally came to arrest him for his fraud scheme this past summer.  Cripe pled guilty to one count of  wire fraud and one count of assaulting a law enforcement officer.

With his plea, Cripe admitted to being “a con artist,” posing as a repossession agent between 2011 and 2015 and, on at least seven different occasions, falsely claiming to be authorized to sell repossessed vehicles and commercial equipment which he, in fact, did not have.  After receiving a “deposit,” Cripe would simply pocket the victims’ money, often blaming delays on his purported clients, the financing companies, until the victims tired of calling.

Cripe's cases were eventually consolidated into a federal investigation by the St. Louis office of the U.S. Secret Service.  After Cripe was indicted earlier this year, the Secret Service tracked him across Missouri and southern and central Illinois in an attempt to arrest him.  On July 8, 2015, the Secret Service finally located Cripe at a St. Louis County gas station.  When the federal agents confronted Cripe, he fought with the agents and rammed their vehicle with his before being taken into custody, where he remains.

Cripe entered his plea before United States District Judge Ronnie L. White in St. Louis.  Sentencing has been set for January 13, 2016.

The maximum penalty for wire fraud is 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $250,000.  Restitution to the defendant’s victims is also mandatory.  The assault count carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison and/or a fine up to $100,000.  In determining any actual sentence imposed, a judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service, in cooperation with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, the Bridgeton Police Department, the Warrenton (MO) Police Department, the Ray County (MO) Sheriff’s Department, the Shelby County (IL) Sheriff’s Department, the Monroe County (IL) Sheriff’s Department, the Fayette County (IL) Sheriff’s Department and the Macon County (IL) Sheriff’s Department. Assistant United States Attorney Tom Albus is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Updated October 14, 2015