BENTON — A developer from Champaign has been sentenced to 12 months and one day in federal prison for bank fraud in connection with the construction of a Carbondale apartment complex.

According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Christopher E. Creek, 56, pleaded guilty to the charges on May 9 and admitted that he submitted fraudulent requests for draws of loan funds to the banks that financed the construction of the Pointe at SIU, a housing community located near the Southern Illinois University campus.

Creek was sentenced Wednesday in United States District Court in Benton. In addition to the prison sentence, he was ordered to pay $376,890.84 in restitution to the victims of his crime. He was also fined an additional $2,000 and was ordered to serve three years of supervised release after his sentence.

According to the release, Creek submitted documents to the banks that claimed the framing work for the project had been provided by a company called “Southern Framing” and that the foundation work had been provided by a company called “Solid as a Rock.” Both those businesses were fictitious entities. Creek deposited the checks payable to them to his own bank accounts and used the funds to pay subcontractors and materials suppliers for previous jobs.

The investigation was conducted by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents from the Springfield Division, and the Marion, Illinois, resident agency, and the case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Scott A. Verseman.


Janis Esch is a reporter for The Southern covering Carbondale.

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