EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. – A Knoxville, Tennessee woman is the second member of a gang known for stealing valuables from parked vehicles in the St. Louis region and using stolen IDs to get money from those victims’ bank accounts to be sentenced for her crimes.
Prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of Illinois said Mary Thornhill, 36, pleaded guilty in July to conspiracy to commit bank fraud.
According to court documents, Thornhill conspired with others beginning in July 2021 to cash stolen checks and fraudulently obtain funds from banks using stolen IDs and driver’s licenses belonging to people living in Southern Illinois. The group targeted banks in the Metro East, specifically those in Glen Carbon and Wood River.
Thornhill admitted in court that she and co-defendant Delvin Mills attempted to cash checks at local banks using the farthest lane of each bank’s drive-up window to avoid suspicion from tellers. Thornhill said she would often disguise herself to look like the individuals on the stolen IDs.
On July 19, 2021, she and Mills cashed a check made payable to a person whose identity had been stolen at Regions Bank in Glen Carbon. The pair was arrested minutes after leaving the bank.
A U.S. District Court judge sentenced Thornhill to 34 months in prison and ordered her to pay restitution to her victims.
Meanwhile, Mills was sentenced on July 20, 2022, to 42 months in prison. He was previously sentenced on July 14 in the District of Oregon to 55 months. The terms will run consecutively, meaning Mills will spend a total of 97 months in federal prison.