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Southland brothers sentenced in Obama check case

Two Southland brothers have been sentenced to four years in prison each after they pleaded guilty to their role in stealing more than $50,000 in checks from President Barack Obama’s Chicago campaign headquarters.

Willard Elam, 48, of Dolton, and Anthony Elam, 52, of Chicago Heights, pleaded guilty to forgery Thursday before Cook County Circuit Court Judge Stanley’s Sacks.

Authorities said the pair were recruited by Jessie Adams, of Joliet, to open up fraudulent checking accounts at two TCF Bank branches in the Chicago area. The men opened the accounts using checks belonging to “Obama for America,” according to police.

Authorities said it was unclear how the men got the checks, but at the time, Obama’s campaign said in a statement that three checks had been sent to vendors and “made it into the wrong hands.”

Adams, 36, is awaiting trial for allegedly organizing the financial scheme, prosecutors said.

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