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Press Release

Springfield Man Indicted for Bank Fraud Conspiracy

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

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A Springfield, Mo., man was indicted by a federal grand jury today for a bank fraud conspiracy in which he and others used stolen mail to create dozens of counterfeit checks that they attempted to cash at area banks.

Shannon Western Fields, 42, was charged in an 11-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Springfield, Mo. Today’s indictment replaces a federal criminal complaint against Fields that was filed on May 2, 2019.

The indictment alleges that Fields participated in a conspiracy to commit bank fraud from February to May 7, 2018, in Greene, Christian, Jasper, and Newton counties. In addition to the conspiracy, Fields is charged with 10 counts of bank fraud.

According to the indictment, Fields and others stole mail from individuals and businesses in order to obtain checks and personal identity information. Conspirators purchased blank check stock and magnetic ink from office supply stores, the indictment says, to create counterfeit checks by using the stolen checks (typically business checks) as templates. They allegedly created checks payable to the conspirators, or used stolen identity information, to create counterfeit identification such as Social Security cards and Missouri driver’s licenses, to cash the checks.

The indictment refers to 11 unidentified co-conspirators who were identified as the payees listed on the forged and counterfeit checks and who, along with Fields, attempted to cash those checks at area financial institutions. Fields and his co-conspirators allegedly attempted to cash 41 counterfeit checks at financial institutions in Springfield and Branson, Mo. Many of those attempts were unsuccessful, according to the indictment.

The charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven M. Mohlhenrich. It was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Springfield, Mo., Police Department, and the Joplin, Mo., Police Department.

Updated May 7, 2019

Financial Fraud