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Press Release

Illinois Man Sentenced to 33 Months in Prison for $157,000 Bank Fraud

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

ST. LOUIS – U.S. District Judge John A. Ross on Tuesday sentenced a man from Granite City, Illinois to 33 months in prison for a fraud scheme that cost Commerce Bank at least $157,000. Judge Ross also ordered Wigfall to repay the money.

Beginning in 2018, Clarence Wigfall Jr., 33, deposited hundreds of worthless checks into at least 55 separate accounts. He started by asking Commerce Bank account holders in public Facebook posts and elsewhere to give him their debit cards and account information in exchange for cash. Wigfall then deposited worthless checks into their accounts via ATMs in eastern Missouri and southern Illinois, often shielding himself from view of surveillance cameras with a piece of paper. He and his associates then withdrew money before the bank detected the fraud. The checks had been written on frozen accounts, blocked accounts, closed accounts, fake accounts and accounts with insufficient funds. Some of the checks also had forged signatures. 

At least ten of the checking account holders did not authorize Wigfall to use their information in his scheme.

Wigfall pleaded guilty in August to a bank fraud charge. 

The case was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney Derek Wiseman is prosecuting the case.

Updated November 9, 2022

Financial Fraud