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Springfield man pleads guilty to bank fraud

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A Springfield man pleaded guilty in federal court yesterday to conspiring to commit bank fraud at financial institutions in the area.

Shannon Fields, 42, admitted he stole mail from businesses and individuals to obtain personal identity information and checks with plans to commit bank fraud in Greene, Christian, Jasper and Newton counties, according to a news release from the office of Tim Garrison, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Missouri.

Fields and 11 unidentified co-conspirators attempted to cash dozens of counterfeit checks at financial institutions in Springfield and Branson. Most of the attempts were unsuccessful, according to the release.

Fields must pay more than $21,000 in restitution to the victimized banks, according to the release. Don Ledford, public affairs officer for Garrison’s office, said the four victimized banks — operated by Bear State Bank, Central Bank of the Ozarks, Great Southern Bank and U.S. Bank — were in Springfield.

Fields is subject to up to 30 years in federal prison without parole. A sentencing hearing has not yet been scheduled, according to the release.

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

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