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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Alaska

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Anchorage Counterfeiter Sentenced to 30 Months In Jail

Anchorage, Alaska – Acting U.S. Attorney Kevin R. Feldis announced today that an Anchorage man was sentenced in federal court in Anchorage for four counts of passing counterfeit money.  The defendant manufactured and passed counterfeit money at local stores all over Anchorage.

Eugene David Downey was sentenced on September 23, 2014, by United States District Court Judge Sharon L. Gleason, to 30 months in prison.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Aunnie Steward, Downey was convicted on state charges of passing counterfeit money in May of 2013.  Downey resumed manufacturing and passing counterfeit money, approximately 200 transactions, shortly after his conviction in state court until his arrest in this case in April 2014.  

Downey passed the counterfeit money at local businesses including Sports Authority, Kohl’s AMH and REI, among others.  Downey passed counterfeit bills at these and other stores and then returned the items to receive genuine currency.  Downey’s scheme was finally brought to an end when an APD officer responded to a 911 call by an employee of REI who recognized Downey from prior attempts to pass counterfeit money.  Upon contact by APD, Downey resisted arrest and assaulted the officer as he tried to escape.  Backup officers arrived on scene and Downey continued to resist arrest until he was placed in a patrol vehicle.  Downey had a wallet full of counterfeit bills at the time of his arrest.

Judge Gleason noted the detrimental impact to local businesses from Downey’s manufacturing and passing of counterfeit money as well as the assault on the officer as reasons for imposing the 30-month sentence. 

First Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Feldis highlighted that “counterfeiting is a persistent problem throughout this country and throughout the world.   We are not immune to that problem in Alaska, and small amounts of counterfeit bills are routinely found here.  All businesses should be aware of how to spot counterfeit bills, and report the receipt of fake bills to the police or U.S. Secret Service.  The conviction of Eugene Downey shows that knowingly passing counterfeit bills is a significant crime with serious penalties.  While making counterfeit $5, $10 and $20 bills with a laser printer or photocopier, or passing fake bills under the guise that you did not know they were fake, may seem like tempting crimes, fake bills are not hard to spot and those involved with these crimes will be aggressively pursued.”  Two additional criminal defendants are set to be sentenced on federal counterfeiting charges in early October. 

Ms. Loeffler commends the Anchorage Police Department and the U.S. Secret Service for the investigation of this case.

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Updated January 29, 2015