You have to be careful with what you do to make money. While many people turn to regular jobs, other people try to use creative ways to make money. Two people in Missouri recently discovered that there are legal limits when it has to do with creative ways to get paid.

These two individuals were recently sentenced in connection with a scheme that involved cashing checks that weren’t theirs to cash. The 26-year-old male and 22-year-old female took checks out of other people’s mailboxes and cashed them as their own.

They were ordered to repay around $24,000 for the stolen checks. The victims of this crime included 12 businesses, 15 households, a charity, a church and 16 financial institutions.

For their convictions on aggravated identity theft, bank fraud, and conspiracy to commit bank fraud, the man received 11 years in prison. The woman received 6 years and 3 months in prison. They will be heading to federal prison.

In this case, the pair pleaded guilty to the charges placed against them. If they would have chosen to, they could have fought against the charges in a trial.

Anyone who is facing white collar crime charges needs to get work quickly on a defense. This can help them to learn about the options that they have an decide how they will move forward with their defense. Some people might choose to plead guilty to their charges, some might pursue a plea deal, and others might fight the charges to the end by going to trial. Make sure you think carefully about how each option can impact your freedom and your future.

Source: U.S. News, “2 Get Prison Terms in Missouri Check-Cashing Scheme,” June 28, 2017