News and Press Releases

Cynthia Ann Rickford Sentenced in U.S. District Cour

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Billings, on April 25, 2012, before Chief U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull, CYNTHIA ANN RICKFORD, a 20-year-old resident of Billings, appeared for sentencing. RICKFORD was sentenced to a term of:

Prison: 4 months

Special Assessment: $100

Restitution: $1,795

Supervised Release: 3 years

RICKFORD was sentenced in connection with her guilty plea to counterfeiting.

In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica T. Fehr, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

Between February 12, 2011, and May 16, 2011, a total of $2,637 in counterfeit Federal Reserve Notes were passed and/or seized ($1,590 passed, $1,047 seized) in and around Billings. The Federal Reserve Notes passed from February to May 2011 involved eighteen different serial numbers on the counterfeit money - in denominations of $1, $5, $20, and $100 bills.

The investigation discovered that RICKFORD occasionally dates an individual, XX. XX informed law enforcement that RICKFORD told him she tried to use counterfeit at several locations. RICKFORD knew the currency was counterfeit. XX was present with RICKFORD and another individual when they passed counterfeit currency.

Additionally, RICKFORD appears on surveillance video on the evening of February 3, 2011. In the video, RICKFORD and another individual are seen attempting to pass counterfeit $100 bills at an area casino. The same night, an individual matching RICKFORD's description attempted to pass a counterfeit $100 bill, Federal Reserve Note at the a gas station in Billings. RICKFORD knew the currency was counterfeit. RICKFORD was attempting to pass the counterfeit currency to obtain valid currency as "change" for the transaction.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that RICKFORD will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, RICKFORD does have the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for "good behavior." However, this reduction will not exceed 15% of the overall sentence.

The investigation was a cooperative effort between the United States Secret Service and the Billings Police Department.



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