OSAGE — An Illinois man accused of forging thousands of dollars of checks from a Mitchell County business has been sentenced to probation and restitution.

48-year-old Robert Higgins of Bellwood Illinois and 46-year-old Roderick Trice of Chicago were arrested for allegedly cashing blank business checks from Ivan Johnson Trucking in 2022. A criminal complaint filed by the Mitchell County Sheriff’s Office says checks forged for over $12,000, $8000 and $3000 were deposited into an account belonging to Higgins, while a forged check for nearly $30,000 was allegedly deposited into an account belonging to Trice.

Higgins pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit a non-forcible felony as well as forgery. He was sentenced on Tuesday by District Associate Judge Elizabeth Batey to suspended five-year prison terms on each charge and was placed on three years probation.

Trice is scheduled to be tried in the case on June 5th.

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