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Press Release

Woman Who Defrauded Illinois Bank Using Fake Identity Sentenced to 30 Months in Prison

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

East St. Louis, Ill. – Heather Harper, 38, of Knoxville, Tennessee, was sentenced to thirty months 
in prison on Wednesday, June 8, 2022, in connection with her involvement in a conspiracy to commit 
bank fraud and aggravated identity theft.
In December 2020, Harper conspired with others to cash stolen checks and fraudulently obtain funds 
from financial institutions using stolen IDs—including driver’s licenses—belonging to real 
individuals living in the St. Louis metropolitan area. The scheme targeted banks located in 
Southern Illinois and Missouri.

When she pled guilty, Harper admitted that her conspirators broke into vehicles in the St. Louis 
area to  steal  checkbooks  and  IDs  belonging  to  various  individuals.  Harper  also  admitted  
that  her conspirators wrote checks from the stolen checkbooks made payable to other persons from 
whom the group had stolen identities. Harper went to banks around St. Louis and the Metro East and 
attempted to cash checks made payable to the persons whose identities had been stolen. Harper often 
disguised herself to look like the individuals on the stolen IDs, using accessories such as wigs. 
Harper admitted that on December 11, 2020, she successfully cashed a check made payable to a person 
whose identity had been stolen at First Bank in O’Fallon, Illinois.

The  investigation  was  conducted  by  local  law  enforcement  agencies,  including  the  
O’Fallon  (IL), Webster  Groves,  Shrewsbury,  Maryland  Heights,  Des  Peres,  and   St.  Charles  
County  Police Departments, along with the United States Secret Service, Fairview Heights Domicile 
Office of the Springfield Resident Office. Charges against Harper for defrauding banks in St. Louis 
County are still pending.
Assistant United States Attorney Zoe J. Gross prosecuted the case.

Updated June 10, 2022