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June 29, 2011

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Married Couple Indicted for Counterfeiting $100 Bills

HOUSTON – A Houston grand jury has indicted a husband and wife team for conspiracy, counterfeiting $100 bills and passing the counterfeit currency at Houston area businesses, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno and United States Secret Service Special Agent-in-Charge Cynthia L. Marble announced today.
Synaca Thomas, 34, and his 25-year-old wife, Brittany Jordan, of Cypress, Texas, have been charged by indictment by a Houston grand jury with three counts relating to a counterfeiting scheme they allegedly executed in the Houston area between January 2009 and January 2011. Thomas and Jordan are each charged with conspiracy to counterfeit United States currency, making counterfeit currency and passing counterfeit currency. Thomas is also charged with two counts of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.

The five-count indictment was returned under seal by a Houston grand jury on June 23, 2011, and unsealed today following the arrest of Thomas and Jordan by special agents of the United States Secret Service. Each defendant has appeared before a U.S. Magistrate Judge. A detention hearing is set for tomorrow at 2:00 p.m.

The five-count indictment accuses the pair of conspiring to counterfeit United States currency. According to the allegations in the indictment, beginning in January 2009 through January 2011, Thomas and Jordan obtained genuine $5 bills that they reprinted as counterfeit $100 bills. During the course of the conspiracy, these defendants with the assistance of unnamed co-conspirators are alleged to have made and passed approximately $500,000 in counterfeit currency to Houston area retailers including grocery and computer stores and tanning salons. 

A conviction for conspiring to counterfeit U.S. currency carries a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment while each of the two counts of counterfeiting currency charges carry a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment. Fines of up to $250,000 can also be imposed as punishment in each count.

The two-year investigation leading to the charges against this couple was conducted by the Houston Field Office of the United States Secret Service with the cooperation and assistance of the Houston and Hedwig Village Police Departments, sheriff’s offices in Harris, Fort Bend and Austin Counties and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Assistant U.S. Attorney John D. Jocher is prosecuting the case.

An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.