EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. – A federal judge sentenced a Metro East man for schemes through which he threatened two St. Louis-area businesses, extorted more than $2 million and defrauded an Illinois health agency.

Emmitt T. Tiner, 55, of O’Fallon, Illinois, was sentenced to ten years in prison earlier this week. In July, he pleaded guilty to extortion, wire fraud, money laundering and other felony charges.

Investigators say Tiner took more than $2 million from two local businessmen – one in Belleville, Illinois, and one in Florissant, Missouri – after making threats against both.

According to a federal indictment, when the Florissant man asked for his money back, Tiner told him that he would conduct a large illegal drug transaction to repay a loan. Tiner then asked the Florissant man for more money in order to finance an illegal drug deal. The Florissant man did not comply with the request, and Tiner made several vicious threats.

One threat cited in federal court was a text Tiner sent on October 2, 2017, which read: “If you do not give me my money back I (sic) gave you in my account and we lose all that money . . . . anybody related to you . . . work with you . . . friends with you . . . . lives with you . . . knows you . .. etc will pay the consequences of you f me . . . . . . then and only then when they think you have experienced enough loss and pain will they look for you!!!!!”

As for the Belleville businessman, Tiner admitted that he began extorting the victim by threatening to expose certain alleged personal matters to the man’s wife and the press. Tiner
also threatened to tell law enforcement that the Belleville man was responsible for three murders
if the man did not pay him more money. According to the indictment, no one was actually murdered, but Tiner staged various fake photos and fabricated other records in an effort to convince the Belleville man that the murders happened.

In addition to the threats, Tiner admitted guilty in a scheme through which illlegally obtained money from the Illinois Department of Health Services. Investigators say, from 2012 to 2019, Tiner faked being disabled in order get IDHS to pay for him to have a personal assistant. Tiner also admitted that he laundered the proceeds of his fraud and extortion schemes by running those funds through his wife’s bank accounts.

“Tiner’s extortion and fraud scheme had a severe impact on his victims, both financially and psychologically,” said a U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesperson on the condition of anonymity. “On top of that, he stole money from a taxpayer funded program designed to help disabled persons. His serious crimes warrant the lengthy prison sentence that the court imposed.”

“Tiner prioritized his own greed over decency and respect for the laws of our country,” said FBI Springfield Field Office Special Agent in Charge David Nanz. “The FBI and our law enforcement partners remain dedicated to investigating and holding accountable those, like Tiner, who flagrantly disregard our laws by seeking to enrich themselves at the expense of their victims.”

In addition to his 10-year prison sentence, the court ordered Tiner to serve a three-year period of supervised release following his prison sentence. The court also ordered Tiner to pay $2.2 milllion in restitution for his extortion offenses and $158K in restitution for his healthcare fraud conviction.