News and Press Releases

United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner
Eastern District of California

Fresno County Man and Woman Plead Guilty to Counterfeiting Conspiracy

Monday, November 18, 2013


Docket #: 1:13-cr-0267-LJO-SKO



FRESNO, Calif. — Richard Melella, 44, of Clovis, and Christina Williams, 25, of Fresno, California, pleaded guilty today to conspiring to buy, receive, alter and pass counterfeit U.S. currency, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

According to their plea agreements, between August and October 2012, Melella and Williams purchased from a third-party approximately 54 counterfeit $100 Federal Reserve Notes. Williams received instructions from the seller on how to finish the bills and later used a counterfeiting device to make the bills appear more authentic. Williams and Melella shared this counterfeit currency, some of which Melella passed at a grocery store in Fresno County.

This case is the product of an investigation by the U.S. Secret Service. Assistant United States Attorney Christopher Baker is prosecuting the case.

Melella and Williams are scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill on February 10, 2014. They face a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentences, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory sentencing factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.



Return to Top