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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Pennsylvania

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

New Jersey Man Charged With Passing Counterfeit Currency At Poconos Casino

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced the filing of a criminal information yesterday charging Walter Cruz, Jr., age 36, of Paterson, New Jersey, with passing counterfeit United States currency at the Mount Airy Casino in Mt. Pocono, Pennsylvania, on October 20, 2014.  The government also filed a plea agreement with the defendant which is subject to approval by the Court.

According to United States Attorney Peter Smith, the charge is the result of an investigation conducted by the Pennsylvania State Police and the United States Secret Service.  Prosecution is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Todd K. Hinkley.

Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

A sentence following a finding of guilty is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

In this particular case, the maximum penalty under the federal statute is twenty years’ imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant’s educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.

Updated April 17, 2015