News

Conspirator Pleads Guilty to Passing Counterfeit Currency

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 22, 2010

Baltimore, Maryland - Antwine Finch, age 29, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to create, possess or pass counterfeit currency.

The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Special Agent in Charge Barbara Golden of the United States Secret Service – Baltimore Field Office.

According to Finch’s plea agreement, from December 10, 2009 through May 12, 2010, Finch and his co-conspirators engaged in a scheme where they purchased merchandise with counterfeit currency, either keeping the merchandise for their own use or returning the merchandise for a cash refund. Finch and his co-conspirators passed counterfeit money at stores in Towson and Owings Mills, Maryland, as well as McLean, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Newark, Delaware and Short Hills, New Jersey.

As part of the conspiracy counterfeit currency was also passed at a number of stores in and around Atlanta, Georgia, where Finch lived part-time from early 2009 until February, 2010. Finch was detained by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office on December 13, 2009, for passing counterfeit at a store in Jacksonville, Florida. Finch was released after he falsely denied knowing the money was counterfeit.

As of August 2010, the Secret Service had collected from financial institutions and retailers $23,950 in counterfeit currency known to have been passed as part of the conspiracy.

Finch faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison. U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz has scheduled sentencing for January 24, 2011 at 9:15 a.m. Finch remains detained.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the U.S. Secret Service for its work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorneys Justin S. Herring and Tamera L. Fine, who are prosecuting the case.

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