News and Press Releases

kC man, woman sentenced for $650,000
counterfeit check conspiracy

August 12, 2011

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a Kansas City, Mo., man and woman have been sentenced in federal court for their roles in a conspiracy to manufacture and distribute more than $650,000 in counterfeit checks at retail outlets throughout the Midwest.

Richard Andrew Nelson, 42, and Louise Lynette Harrington, 47, both of Kansas City, were sentenced in separate appearances before U.S. District Judge Greg Kays on Thursday, Aug. 11, 2011. Nelson was sentenced to five years in prison without parole. Harrington was sentenced to two years and six months in prison without parole.

Nelson and Harrington, along with co-defendants Joe Willie Johnson, 30, of Kansas City, Mo., and Dia Williams, 33, of Kansas City, Kan., pleaded guilty to their roles in a conspiracy that lasted from 2001 to 2009. Johnson and Williams have yet to be sentenced.

Nelson, the leader of the conspiracy, enlisted Williams to manufacture counterfeit checks and recruited Harrington and Johnson to use the counterfeit checks to purchase merchandise at various retail stores in several states, including Walgreens, Home Depot, Wal-Mart and Dick’s Sporting Goods. Conspirators later returned the merchandise at separate outlets for cash refunds then divided the proceeds among themselves.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney William L. Meiners. It was investigated by the Overland Park, Kan., Police Department and the U.S. Secret Service.

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