Bail for Willard Elam, who is charged with continuing a financial crime enterprise, was set at $75,000
Cook County prosecutors said Elam and the unnamed man were accompanied by Adams and pretended to be business owners of actual companies that work with Obama's presidential campaign.
They opened up the accounts on Sept. 12 and Sept. 13 at TCF Bank locations in two different grocery stores and presented fake documents to open the bank accounts before depositing the checks, one valued at $24,857 and the other at $23,839, prosecutors said.
A comptroller with Obama's reelection campaign caught on to the scheme when two companies complained they had not been paid. It was not immediately clear how the three men obtained the checks, prosecutors said.
Adams, 36, of the 1100 block of Spencer Road in Joliet, works for a general contracting company, and Elam, 48, of the 15500 block of South Drexel Avenue in Dolton, is a laborer, authorities said.
Police said Adams allegedly recruited Elam for the alleged crime.
The checks were stolen from campaign headquarters in the Prudential Plaza building at 130 E. Randolph St., apparently last week, according to police.
The checks were made out to legitimate businesses, but the suspects deposited them in phony accounts they had set up under the names of those companies, authorities said.
On Sept. 13, Elam entered the TCF Bank in South Holland and used his own identification to set up one of the phony accounts and deposited the check for $23,839.80, according to the police report.
The day before, the person still at large opened a phony account at a TCF Bank in Dolton, also using his own identification, and deposited the second check taken from the campaign.
Ben Finkenbinder, the Midwest press secretary for the Obama campaign, said: "Three checks we sent to vendors made it into the wrong hands, and after learning of this we notified the police. We're pleased that they're dealing with the issue swiftly, and don't expect this to have any impact upon the campaign."
An Obama campaign official, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to speak on the matter, said the checks were not taken from the campaign' offices but were taken from the building housing the campaign headquarters.