(AP) — A 75-year-old man has been sentenced to six and a half years in prison for defrauding seven southern Illinois banks out of more than $500,000.

A federal judge ordered the sentence for Alfred Cross, who pleaded guilty to five counts of bank fraud. Cross is from the Marion County city of Kinmundy and was accused of depositing large out-of-state checks with insufficient funds and then withdrawing money before the banks discovered the fraud.

Federal prosecutors say the judge described Cross as a con artist who “supports himself by ripping people off.” The banks involved were in Benton, Carbondale, Effingham, Greenville, Mount Vernon and Nashville.

Prosecutors say Cross gave some of the money to his relatives and used the rest to pay for personal expenses.

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