18-month prison term for debit-card use

URBANA — A Rantoul man who admitted using a friend's debit card without his permission has been sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Christopher Robinson, 28, whose last known address was in the 400 block of South Chanute Street, pleaded guilty Tuesday to financial identity theft.

He admitted that some time in late October, he used the debit card of a man he used to live with.

Assistant State's Attorney Scott Bennett said the victim's payroll debit card went missing on Oct. 20. He later discovered that $254 had been deducted without his permission. Then, on Oct. 29, the victim discovered his card in his mailbox with a note on the envelope thanking him.

It also said: "God bless. Will pay you back on the first. My rent was late. Was going to be evicted."

Bennett said surveillance video of ATMs identified Robinson as the person making the transactions using the card.

Robinson will serve the sentence at the same time as he serves a one-year sentence he recently received for a domestic battery conviction from 2011. He also had a prior conviction for possession of a controlled substance.

Bennett said in return for Robinson's plea, another charge of aggravated battery was dismissed.

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