Jury Convicts South Florida Artist In $4 Million Counterfeit Currency Conspiracy
Jacksonville, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that a federal jury has found Jean Phineas Losier (41, Wellington) guilty of conspiracy to deal in counterfeit Federal Reserve notes. He faces up to five years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set.
According to the trial testimony and court documents, Losier began manufacturing a specific United States counterfeit note (designated by the United States Secret Service as D23548 and D23548A) in 2008. Over the ensuing years, he engaged in a substantial counterfeit relationship with co-defendant Mercury Thompson, and others, to sell and pass the counterfeit $100 and $50 notes. Losier operated alone in the manufacturing process. Using laser printer and toner technology, and an elaborate bleaching and re-printing process, he stripped the ink from genuine $1 bills and then manufactured counterfeit $100 and $50 bills on the remaining paper.
On January 14, 2014, Secret Service agents executed search warrants at a Wellington apartment where Losier had manufactured the notes. The agents seized manufacturing devices and also located bleached genuine $1 Federal Reserve notes, chemicals and chemical residue, as well as other indicators of high volume bleaching. Detailed molds and templates, reflecting the image of genuine United States security watermarks, were located inside the residence. Losier, an artist, had etched the watermark molds.
Forensic analyses of the seized electronic media and counterfeit notes revealed Losier’s detailed manufacturing process, including images of the notes at virtually every stage of the manufacturing process. Investigators were able to forensically match the electronic devices to counterfeit $100 bills seized at various stores in the Jacksonville area during April and May 2010, including bills seized from the St. Johns Towns Center. The forensic comparison of the images also matched $4,200 of counterfeit $100 notes seized from a rental vehicle in which Thompson was present on July 12, 2012, and $10,000 in $100 counterfeit notes that another individual purchased from Losier on January 10, 2014.
According to Secret Service forensic examiners, the value of the known counterfeit notes (D23548 and D23548A) passed in the Southern and Middle Districts of Florida since late 2008 is more than $3.5 million. The known amount passed worldwide exceeds $4.3 million. After Losier’s arrest on January 14, 2014, the passing of these designated counterfeit notes ceased almost entirely.
Mercury Thompson (39, Delray Beach) previously pleaded guilty for his role in this case, and is currently awaiting sentencing.
This case was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, the Delray Beach Police Department, the Boynton Beach Police Department, and the Boca Raton Police Department. The United States Attorneys’ Offices for the Middle and Southern Districts of Florida participated in this investigation and prosecution. Assistant United States Attorneys Michael Coolican and A. Tysen Duva are prosecuting the Middle District of Florida case.
Losier also faces counterfeit manufacturing charges in the Southern District of Florida. After his sentencing in the Middle District of Florida, he will be transferred to the Southern District to face those charges.