U.S. Department of Justice
Peter F. Neronha
United States Attorney
District of Rhode Island
September 29, 2010
R.I. WOMAN PLEADS GUILTY TO POSSESSING AND PASSING
$21,000 IN BOGUS CASH
Providence, R.I. – A Cranston, R.I. woman pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Providence on Tuesday to possessing and passing $21,000 in counterfeit $100 bills, bogus U.S. currency she obtained from a person in Nigeria whom she met through the Internet. Amy Flowers, 38, pleaded guilty to two counts of passing counterfeit notes and one count of possessing counterfeit notes.
The guilty pleas were announced by U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Thomas M. Powers, Resident Agent in Charge of the Providence Office of the U.S. Secret Service, which was entered before U.S. District Court Chief Judge Mary M. Lisi.
At Tuesday’s change of plea hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie S. Browne told the Court that between July 2008 and October 2009, Flowers obtained the counterfeit $100 bills from a person in Nigeria with whom she became friendly through the Internet. The bills were sent to her inside several packages containing books. The bogus cash was hidden inside the covers of books.
Flowers passed the currency during several transactions at several Western Union offices, several retail businesses and a local bank. At the time of Flowers’ arrest, agents from the U.S. Secret Service seized 52 counterfeit $100 bills from her vehicle.
Flowers is scheduled to be sentenced on February 3, 2011. Maximum penalties on each charge include 20 years in federal prison; a fine of $250,000; and 3 years supervised release.