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EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) - The owner of a southwestern Illinois title company faces up to a quarter century in prison after admitting in court that she defrauded clients to support her gambling habit.
Sixty-five-year-old Karen Strasser Steinke of Millstadt pleaded guilty Friday in East St. Louis to charges of wire fraud and structuring financial transactions to avoid currency-reporting requirements.
Authorities say the owner of Metro East Title Co. in Belleville was obligated to hold escrow, settlement and closing funds in a trust account. But investigators say she instead pilfered those funds for gambling.
The company was accused in a federal lawsuit last October of failing to deliver to the American Legion's Columbia chapter $385,000 in proceeds from a land sale to Belleville.
Steinke also faces mandatory restitution when sentenced May 2.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri House committee is scheduled to consider legislation that would change the ability of certain public employee labor unions to collect fees.
The Workforce Development and Workforce Safety Committee is expected to hear public testimony Monday on the measure its supporters call "paycheck protection."
The bill would prohibit a union from receiving fees that are deducted automatically from a public employee's paycheck. It would also require unions to get written authorization to spend a person's fees on political activities.
Unions representing "first responders," such as police and firefighters, would not be affected by the bill.
The Republican-controlled Legislature passed a similar bill last year, but it was vetoed by Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon.
 
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) - A California man has been ordered to spend 17years in federal prison on convictions related to child pornography and inappropriate behavior with an Ohio teenager.
Twenty-seven-year-old David Michael Thompson of Temecula, Calif., was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in East St. Louis on charges of transporting child porn and traveling across state lines to engage in sex with a minor child.
Authorities say an Illinois State Police trooper stopped Thompson's car in 2012 and found a 16-year-old girl who'd been reported missing from the Cincinnati area.
The girl told police she met Thompson through online social networking sites and was planning to move in with him.
Investigators say Thompson's cellphone had two photographs showing the girl engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

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