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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of California

Monday, February 10, 2014

Fresno County Man Sentenced To Prison For Counterfeiting U.S. Currency

FRESNO, Calif. — Richard Melella, 44, of Clovis, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill to 10 months in prison for conspiring to buy, receive, alter and pass counterfeit U.S. currency, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. Melella’s co-conspirator, Fresno resident Christina Williams, 25, is scheduled to be sentenced on April 7, 2014.

According to court documents, between August and October 2012, Melella and Williams purchased from a third-party approximately 54 counterfeit $100 Federal Reserve Notes. Williams received instructions from the seller on how to finish the bills and later used a counterfeiting device to make the bills appear more authentic. Williams and Melella shared this counterfeit currency, some of which Melella passed at a grocery store in Fresno County.

This case is the product of an investigation by the U.S. Secret Service. Assistant United States Attorney Christopher Baker is prosecuting the case.

Press Release Number: 
Docket #: 1:13-cr-267-LJO-SKO
Updated April 8, 2015