Counterfeiter Sentenced to 41 Months in Prison

November 9, 2011

Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles, Jr., sentenced Robert Johnson, age 33, of Baltimore, Maryland, today to 41 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for selling and passing counterfeit currency. Judge Quarles also found that Johnson manufactured counterfeit currency and ordered that Johnson pay restitution to the victims, with the exact amount of restitution to be determined at a later date.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Barbara Golden of the United States Secret Service – Baltimore Field Office; and Colonel Marcus L. Brown, Superintendent of the Maryland State Police.

According to Johnson’s guilty plea, beginning in at least August 2009, Johnson sold batches of counterfeit currency to co-conspirators for approximately fifty cents for each counterfeit dollar, knowing that the buyers intended to pass the counterfeit currency as genuine. Johnson also passed the counterfeit currency at retail stores, generally passing a counterfeit $50 or $100 bill for an item that cost far less and receiving genuine currency in change. Johnson either kept the merchandise or sometimes returned it for a cash refund.

Law enforcement observed Johnson on four separate occasions selling counterfeit currency to a cooperating individual. Johnson was arrested on April 15, 2010, in Frederick Maryland, while passing counterfeit currency, and a subsequent search of his vehicle recovered approximately $1,000 in counterfeit currency. Johnson absconded from pre-trial release on June 7, 2010 and remained at large until his arrest in April 2011.

At today’s hearing, Judge Quarles determined that the total loss as a result of Johnson’s conduct was over $30,000 and that he was a leader or organizer in the scheme.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the U.S. Secret Service, and the Maryland State Police for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorneys Justin S. Herring and Tamera L. Fine, who prosecuted the case.

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