Leaders of Counterfeiting Ring Sentenced to Federal Prison
ATLANTA – Heath J. Kellogg and Stacy P. Smith have been sentenced to federal prison for counterfeiting offenses.
“These defendants--who referred to their counterfeit money as ‘Monopoly,’ as if it were some kind of game--effectively stole from thousands of businesses, nonprofit organizations, and citizens throughout Georgia and the United States,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “Counterfeiting is far from a victimless crime because the person who unknowingly accepts the counterfeit bill usually absorbs the full amount of the loss. In this case, the victims included citizens, churches, and family-run businesses, as well as banks and large retail stores.”
“Every person, business or organization that receives a counterfeit note is a victim, and as such experiences a real economic loss. The United States Secret Service will continue to take an aggressive approach to arrest criminals like Smith and Kellogg. These sentences should be a warning to other like-minded criminals that manipulating and stealing from the American people will not go unpunished,” said Reginald G. Moore, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Secret Service, Atlanta Field Office.
According to United States Attorney Yates, the charges and other information presented in court: From approximately February 1, 2011 until November 15, 2012, the defendants conspired to manufacture and distribute counterfeit U.S currency. The defendants focused on $50 bills, but also manufactured $20 bills. Heath Kellogg, a self-taught graphic artist, developed a manufacturing process for counterfeit currency. Smith helped Heath Kellogg manufacture the counterfeit currency, and both men purchased supplies on various occasions.
Smith distributed the counterfeit currency through a network of individuals, which ultimately spread the bills throughout the United States. Smith and Heath Kellogg used feedback from their ultimate customers, who victimized businesses, individuals and banks by passing the counterfeit currency in the community, to refine and improve their manufacturing process over time. The defendants sold the counterfeit currency to customers in exchange for genuine U.S currency, at various discounted rates.
On November 15, 2012, Secret Service agents executed search warrants yielding a wide variety of physical evidence, including completed and partially completed counterfeit currency, a large roll of special paper of the sort used in commercial printing presses, numerous printers, and a flash drive containing encrypted digital files with high definition images of various features of the counterfeit bills.
The counterfeiting operation was extensive. The Secret Service reports that counterfeit currency matching the distinctive characteristics of those produced by the defendants totaling over $1.4 million in face value has been returned to it by local police departments, banks, merchants and individuals victimized when the counterfeit currency was passed. The counterfeit currency was returned to the Secret Service from victims across the United States and internationally.
Heath J. Kellogg was sentenced on Friday, March 24, 2014 to twelve years in federal prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release. Heath Kellogg was convicted on November 5, 2013 of one count of conspiracy to counterfeit and deal in counterfeit obligations of the United States in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371, two counts of counterfeiting currency in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 471, and two counts of dealing in counterfeit obligations in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 473, after pleading guilty to the Indictment. At sentencing, the court found Kellogg responsible for manufacturing counterfeit currency with a face value of over $1 million.
Smith was sentenced on Wednesday, March 26, 2014, to three years in federal prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release. Smith was convicted, on his plea of guilty on June 11, 2013, of one count of counterfeiting obligations or securities of the United States in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 471. At sentencing, the court found Smith responsible for manufacturing counterfeit currency with a face value of over $1 million.
Four co-defendants in the same case were previously sentenced after pleading guilty:
Kenyada Barrion, 37, of Lithonia, Ga., was sentenced on August 28, 2013, to eighteen months in federal prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release. Barrion was convicted on March 27, 2013, of dealing in counterfeit obligations of the United States.
Cameron Longshore, 31, of Atlanta, Ga., was sentenced on October 10, 2013, to one year and one day in federal prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release. He was convicted August 1, 2013, of a single count of dealing in counterfeit obligations.
Ian Longshore, 28, of Atlanta, Ga., was also sentenced on October 10, 2013, to one year and one day in federal prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release. He was convicted on August 1, 2013, of a single count of dealing in counterfeit obligations.
James Kellogg, 63, of Marietta, Ga., was sentenced on December 2, 2013, to five years of probation, including six months of home confinement. James Kellogg was convicted on June 11, 2013, of conspiracy to counterfeit and deal in counterfeit obligations of the United States.
This case was investigated by the United States Secret Service.
Assistant United States Attorney Alana R. Black prosecuted the case.
Anyone can become the victim of currency counterfeiters. To learn more about how to detect counterfeit currency and guard against forgery loss, visit the Know Your Money websites maintained by the United States Secret Service at: http://www.secretservice.gov/know_your_money.shtml and http://www.newmoney.gov/.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the home page for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia Atlanta Division is http://www.justice.gov/usao/gan/.