EAST ST. LOUIS, IL (KSDK) - A 45-year-old Alton man pleaded guilty to bank fraud by engaging in a "check kitting" scheme, United States Attorney Stephen R. Wigginton said Tuesday.
According to court documents, Jody Markel was serving as president and managing the finances of two companies, Topflight Logistics, Inc. and TFV Trucking. Markel admitted to engaging in a check-kiting scheme, in which he cross-deposited 208 checks between the two accounts for each company, totaling $2,186,214.75.
Markel's check kiting scheme resulted in a total loss of $212,423.14.
Check kiting occurs when a series of checks are drafted between two accounts for the purpose of artificially inflating the account balances. Delays in the bank system allow for check-kiting schemes to take advantage of the "float time" between the time when the bank receives and credits a check for deposit.
Markel faces up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine, as well as five years of supervised release and a $1,000 special assessment. He will be sentenced on November 2.