Illinois man pleads guilty to money laundering

FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS, Ill. (AP) - A southern Illinois man has pleaded guilty to taking part in a scheme in which more than 70 people were tricked into sending him money.

The U.S. Attorney's office in Fairview Heights announced Thursday that 52-year-old Brian J. Fields of Belleville faces 20 years in prison for each of the two charges of money laundering and wire fraud. He is scheduled for sentencing in September.

Prosecutors say Fields and a person in Nigeria took part in the scheme in which U.S citizens were sent counterfeit checks and money orders, told by Fields to deposit the money and then wire him money.

According to prosecutors, the investigation by the Internal Revenue Service, the United States Secret Service and the police department in Swansea, Illinois, revealed the victims lost more than $100,000.

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