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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 19, 2017

Anchorage Man Found Guilty of Attempting to Spend Counterfeit Money at Anchorage International Airport

Anchorage, Alaska – Acting U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder announced that an Anchorage man was found guilty yesterday of attempting to pass a counterfeit $100 bill at the Anchorage International Airport. Abdikhaliq Hussein, 28, of Anchorage, was convicted by Chief U.S. District Judge Timothy M. Burgess after a two-day bench trial. Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 8, 2017. The maximum potential penalty is 20 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000.

 

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonas Walker, Hussein went to the Anchorage International Airport on Jan. 14, 2017, and made a reservation for a one-way trip to San Francisco. In attempting to pay for the ticket, Hussein handed seven counterfeit $100 bills to an airline employee. The employee immediately noticed that the bills were counterfeit due to their texture and appearance, including Chinese text in bright pink and red on both sides of the bills. The Chinese text translates as “training coupon, sample, for practice only, no circulation.”

 

Two airline employees explained to Hussein that the bills were not valid United States currency. The employees tested the fake funds with a counterfeit-detection marker and showed Hussein the resulting dark mark. After the airline employees explained to Hussein that the bills were false, Hussein tried to use an identical counterfeit $100 bill to pay for $7 worth of drinks and snacks from Starbucks located in the terminal. Police contacted Hussein shortly thereafter and found that the total amount of counterfeit currency he possessed was $11,220. At trial, Hussein testified that he found the money in a plastic bag along an Anchorage street and believed it was real. However, Judge Burgess found that Hussein was deliberately indifferent to the money being counterfeit and that he intended to deceive the Starbucks employee.

 

Acting U.S. Attorney Schroder commends the Anchorage International Airport Police and Fire Department, the Anchorage Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Secret Service, and the Department of Homeland Security for their cooperation in investigating this offense.

 

The U.S. Attorney’s Office cautions the community that federal law prohibits spending counterfeit currency as if it were authentic, even by a person who did not print it. A photo of the counterfeit $100 is attached.

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Updated May 19, 2017