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URBANA — A U.S. postal employee who admitted he used a stranger’s credit card without her permission has been sentenced to 30 months of probation.

Matthew A. Eiland, 25, who listed an address in the 300 block of Kenwood Road, was also sentenced to two months of electronic home confinement after pleading guilty last week before Judge Heidi Ladd to identity theft over $2,000, a Class 2 felony.

Eiland admitted he used the credit card of a Champaign woman to buy two computers for $4,686 at Best Buy in Champaign on June 29.

Assistant State’s Attorney Matt Banach said the woman ordered a VISA card and had not received it in the mail. Checking her account online, she found the fraudulent purchases and reported them to police June 30.

Police obtained video from Best Buy that showed Eiland making the computer purchases and got the license number of the vehicle he arrived in to locate him.

Banach said Champaign police were unable to obtain a statement from Eiland as to how he got that card or seven others that were found in a court-authorized search of a residence associated with him.

All the people whose names were on the cards had recently applied for the cards but had not received them in the mail, Banach said.

Banach said Eiland was employed at the post office on North Mattis Avenue in Champaign at the time the cards were found among his belongings. Banach said most of those cardholders had not experienced fraudulent activity on their accounts.

As part of Eiland’s sentence, negotiated by Banach and Champaign attorney Jim Martinkus, he was also ordered to make restitution to the Champaign woman of $4,686 and an additional $2,968 to American Express for charges made to another person’s account without that cardholder’s permission.

Other charges of burglary and unlawful possession of three or more debit or credit cards were dismissed.

Court records show Eiland had prior convictions for driving under the influence and driving under revocation.


Mary Schenk is a reporter covering police, courts and breaking news at The News-Gazette. Her email is, and you can follow her on Twitter (@schenk).

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