News and Press Releases

Hazleton Woman Charged With Passing Counterfeit Money

March 8, 2013

     The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that a criminal Information was filed in U.S. District Court in Scranton today against Cindy Batista, age 23, of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, charging her with passing counterfeit $100 bills.

     According to United States Attorney Peter J. Smith, Batista passed $100 bills at various businesses in Luzerne County between February 5, 2013 and February 12, 2013. 

     The case was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service and is assigned to Assistant U.S. Attorney Lorna N. Graham for prosecution.

     Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

     A sentence following a finding of guilty is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

     In this particular case, the maximum penalty under the federal statute is 20 years’ imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant’s educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.


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