News and Press Releases

Indiana County Woman Pleads Guilty To Making, Passing Counterfeit Money

June 28, 2011

PITTSBURGH, Pa. ‑ A resident of Indiana, Pa., pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of conspiracy to make and pass counterfeit currency, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Trisha M. Baker, 35, pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge Terrence F. McVerry.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that between March 2009 and May 2009, co-conspirators Trisha Baker, Tessa Hartless, Kimberly Faber, Tiphany Ohler and Sahaua Gervasoni assisted each other in manufacturing counterfeit U.S. currency and created approximately $25,000 in counterfeit U.S. currency, usually in the basement of a residence in Walston, Pa.  The conspirators did this by printing the fronts and backs of the counterfeit notes on a printer.

Once this counterfeit money was made, Baker and the co-conspirators would utter it at stores located in Butler, New Kensington, Dubois, Clearfield, Rural Valley, Ford City, Grove City, and other locations within the Western District of Pennsylvania.  The purpose of uttering the counterfeit money was to receive change in the form of legitimate money to then be used to purchase illegal narcotics.

Judge McVerry scheduled sentencing on Oct. 28, 2011, at 10:30 a.m.  The law provides for a maximum total sentence of five years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both.  Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Pending sentencing, the court continued Baker on bond.

Assistant United States Attorney James T. Kitchen is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The United States Secret Service conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Baker.

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