O'FALLON, Ill. — A metro east couple is facing multiple charges after allegedly attempting a multi-million dollar extortion and fraud scheme.
Emmitt Tiner, 53, and Matissia Holt 41, are being charged in a 54-count indictment that accuses them of an elaborate extortion scheme, defrauding the Illinois Home Services Program and money laundering. Tiner was also charged with mail fraud, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, using a false social security number and sending threatening communications.
Tiner was arraigned on Monday and pleaded not guilty. Holt is set to be arraigned on Dec. 3.
According to the indictment, Tiner created a five-year scheme to defraud people and businesses in the St. Louis area. Tiner allegedly would receive money from victims and then convince them he had engaged in some sort of illegal activity on their behalf, like a drug deal, so he could get the money to repay them.
Tiner would allegedly then try to convince the victim that they were an accomplice and threaten to turn them over to police unless they gave him more money. The indictment also alleges Tiner would extort victims by threatening to kill or hurt them or their families. The indictment said Tiner acquired more than $2 million from the scheme.
The indictment also accuses Tiner and Holt with money laundering and conducting financial transactions with criminal intent.
“These charges against Mr. Tiner and Ms. Holt show that with both law enforcement and financial investigation expertise, individuals that illegally target victims and execute wide-ranging schemes for personal financial gain, along with others who assist them, could face criminal prosecution and lengthy prison sentences,” said Adam Steiner, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the IRS Criminal Investigation division in the St. Louis Field Office. “IRS Criminal Investigation, federal and state law enforcement partners, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office remain committed to protect the integrity of the tax system and innocent victims that suffer a monetary loss.”