An Alton man has pleaded guilty to bank fraud charges. 45-year-old Jody D. Markel admitted to depositing more than 200 checks totaling more than two-million dollars between bank accounts belonging to the two companies that he ran. Prosecutors say the checks were written between the two accounts for the purpose of artificially increasing their balances.
It is a practice called "check kiting." Because of delays inherent in the banking system, a check-kiting scheme takes advantage of the "float time" between the time when a bank receives and credits a check for deposit and the time it's fully processed. Banks lost more than 200-thousand dollars during the scheme. Markel faces up to 30-years in prison. Markel ran Topflight Logistics and TFV Trucking LLC. Sentencing is set for November 2.