United States District Judge David R. Herndon has sentenced an Alton man to 37 months in federal prison for bank fraud, according to an announcement by Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois James L. Porter. 29-year-old Christopher William Kreider pled guilty to charges indicating that from March 4, 2010, through May 31, 2011, he defrauded the Alton Bell Community Credit Union by causing false loan applications to be submitted.

Kreider pled guilty to the charges on December 17, 2014. The practice that Kreider took part in is known as "straw borrowing". Kreider owned a landscaping business called Lawnscape Lawn and Excavation. In order to keep the business from going under authorities say Kreider solicited friends and employees to apply for loans, in their names, with Alton Bell Community Credit Union. The proceeds of the loans were either turned over to Kreider or applied for his benefit. During the sentencing hearing Friday, Judge Herndon found that Kreider's offenses caused a loss of $158,286.59 to the credit union. In addition to serving more than three years in prison the Court also ordered that Kreider pay restitution of $207,116.06 which includes the loss amount and audit fees the credit union paid during the course of the investigation of the damages. Kreider is also required to serve 5 years supervised release once he gets out of prison. The case was investigated by the Springfield, Illinois, Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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