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Press Release


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

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. – Yesterday afternoon, in federal court in East St. Louis, IL, Emmitt T. 
Tiner, 55, of O’Fallon, Illinois, was sentenced to ten years in federal prison.  On July 7, 2022, 
Tiner pled guilty to wire fraud, extortion, sending interstate communications with the intent to 
extort, healthcare fraud, money laundering, and conducting financial transactions with criminally 
derived proceeds.

When he pled guilty, Tiner admitted that he extorted more than $2,000,000 from two local 
businessmen, one from Belleville, IL, and the other from Florissant, MO.  Tiner initially borrowed 
money from the Florissant businessman.  When the Florissant man asked for his money back, Tiner 
told him that he would conduct a large illegal drug transaction to get the funds to repay the 
loans.  Tiner then asked the Florissant man for more money in order to finance this illegal drug 
deal.  When the Florissant man refused to provide any more money to him, Tiner made several vicious 
threats.  The specific threat that Tiner pled guilty to was a text he sent on October 2, 2017, 
which read:  “If you do not give me my money back I (sic) gave you in my account and we lose all 
that money . . . . anybody related to you . . . work with you . . . friends with you . . . . lives 
with you . . . knows you . . . etc will pay the consequences of you f****** me . . . . . . then and only
then when they think you have experienced enough loss and pain will they look for you!!!!!”

With regard to the Belleville businessman, Tiner admitted that he began extorting this individual 
by threatening to expose certain alleged personal matters to the man’s wife and the press.  Tiner 
also threatened to tell law enforcement that the Belleville man was responsible for three murders 
if the man did not pay him more money.  No one was actually murdered, although Tiner staged various 
fake photos and fabricated other records in an effort to convince the Belleville man that the 
murders were real.

Tiner’s healthcare fraud conviction arose from his scheme to defraud the Illinois Department of 
Health Services (“IDHS”), which operates a program known as the Personal Assistant program. This 
program pays individuals to work as personal assistants for disabled individuals.  The program has 
certain asset restrictions, and will only pay for work performed while the disabled individuals are 
present in their homes.  When he pleaded guilty, Tiner admitted that he faked being disabled in 
order get IDHS to pay for him to have a personal assistant.  Tiner repeatedly told IDHS Rehabilitation Counsellors that he needed a wheelchair to move around and that he was unable to walk. Evidence presented to the court, however, demonstrated that Tiner’s statements were false, and that he routinely engaged in various physical activities, including driving, dancing, and weightlifting. From 2012 through 2019, IDHS paid Tiner’s personal assistants more than $150,000.  One of the individuals who was paid to be Tiner’s personal assistant was his wife, Matissia Holt.  Tiner and Holt also submitted false timesheets to IDHS which fraudulently claimed that Holt had provided personal assistant services to Tiner on days that the couple was out of town on gambling trips at various casinos.

Tiner also admitted that he laundered the proceeds of his fraud and extortion scheme by running 
those funds through Holt’s bank accounts.  The financial transaction conviction stemmed from 
Tiner’s use of those fraudulently obtained funds to make several large purchases, including a 
residence located on Knollhaven Trail in O’Fallon, a residential lot on Pausch Road in O’Fallon, 
and a 2019 Cadillac Escalade.  As part of his plea agreement, Tiner agreed to forfeit this property 
to the United States so that it can be sold and used to pay restitution.

Tiner’s wife, Matissia Holt, also was charged and pled guilty to healthcare fraud and money 
laundering charges.  On October 31, 2022, Holt was sentenced to five years probation and ordered to 
pay restitution.

In addition to the 10 year prison sentence, the court ordered Tiner to serve a 3 year period of 
supervised release following his prison sentence.  The court also ordered Tiner to pay a total of
$2,241,500 in restitution for his extortion offenses, and $158,212.16 in restitution for his 
healthcare fraud conviction.

“Tiner’s extortion and fraud scheme had a severe impact on his victims, both financially and 
psychologically,” a U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesperson remarked.  “On top of that, he stole money 
from a taxpayer funded program designed to help disabled persons.  His serious crimes warrant the 
lengthy prison sentence that the court imposed.”

“Tiner prioritized his own greed over decency and respect for the laws of our country,” said FBI 
Springfield Field Office Special Agent in Charge David Nanz. “The FBI and our law enforcement 
partners remain dedicated to investigating and holding accountable those, like Tiner, who 
flagrantly disregard our laws by seeking to enrich themselves at the expense of their victims.”

“IRS-CI and its law enforcement partners remain committed to investigating and stopping schemers 
who seek to enrich themselves through extortion,” said IRS-CI Acting Special Agent in Charge Thomas 
Murdock, St. Louis Field Office. “The sentence sends a strong message that this behavior will be 
aggressively investigated, and those responsible brought to justice.”

The investigation was conducted by agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation – Springfield 
Field Office, the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations – St. Louis Field Office, the 
United States Department of Health and Human Services – Office of the Inspector General, the Social 
Security Administration – Office of the Inspector General, and the Illinois State Police Medicaid 
Fraud Control Bureau.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Scott A. Verseman and Luke J. Weissler prosecuted the case.

Updated November 18, 2022

Financial Fraud