Freddie Howard, 25, of Gurnee.

A Gurnee man has been sentenced to four years in prison after he pleaded guilty to stealing a Crystal Lake man’s check and paying another person with it.

Freddie Howard, 25, of Gurnee, was charged in September 2020 with one count of forgery, a Class 3 felony, and one count of theft over $500, a Class 3 felony.

A criminal complaint filed in McHenry County Circuit Court alleges Howard wrote a check to a woman in March 2020.

The check was payable to the woman in the amount of $1,325.

Prosecutors said Howard stole the check from another man, who did not consent to Howard writing the fraudulent check.

The $1,325 was taken from the victim’s bank account, the complaint said.

The incident was reported to the Crystal Lake Police Department and Howard was served with the warrant in July 2021.

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Howard entered into a negotiated plea with the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office last week.

He pleaded guilty to one count of forgery, a Class 3 felony, in exchange for his second charge being dismissed.

McHenry County Judge James Cowlin sentenced him to four years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

The sentence will be served at 50% and will be served concurrently with another case he is currently serving a prison sentence.

State records show Howard has been serving a six-year sentence in the Illinois Department of Corrections since March 2022 for an aggravated unlawful use of a weapon case out of Lake County.

Howard will receive 779 days of credit for time served in the McHenry County case.

Howard previously was convicted of identity theft in Lake County in a 2018 case, state records show.

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