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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, October 23, 2015

Man Sentenced in Federal Court for Passing Forged Postal Notes

Gregory J. Haanstad, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, announced that on October 22, 2015, Robert James Zoellner (age: 52) of Ripon was sentenced to 18 months in a federal prison by Chief United States District Judge William C. Griesbach. Zoellner previously pled guilty to a single count of passing forged postal notes, in violation of Title 18 United States Code, Section 500.  According to the plea agreement and other documents filed with the court, Zoellner acted as a middle-man for a West African counterfeiter and utilized “mystery shopper” advertisements in newspapers and magazines to recruit unknowing individuals to cash hundreds of thousands of dollars in counterfeit postal notes and money orders and forward the proceeds to Zoellner who would in turn wire the proceeds to his contact in Mali, West Africa.  In addition to the term of imprisonment, Zoellner was ordered to serve three years of supervised release.  

In sentencing the defendant, Chief Judge Griesbach noted the serious nature of the offense, the defendant’s prior criminal record, as well as the need to deter others in the community from engaging in similar fraudulent behavior.

The case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security – Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel R. Humble.

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Updated October 23, 2015