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Justice News

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

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Waterville Man Sentenced to 10 Months for Selling Counterfeit Coins

Contact: F. Todd Lowell
Assistant United States Attorney
Tel: (207) 945-0373

Bangor, Maine:  United States Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II announced that Mwashuma M. Sithole, 32, of Waterville, Maine was sentenced today in U.S. District Court by Judge John A. Woodcock, Jr. to 10 months in prison and three years of supervised release for selling counterfeit coins.  He pleaded guilty to the crime on May 9, 2016. 

Court records show that the defendant began ordering counterfeit Morgan dollars online in May 2014.  The Morgan dollar is a United States dollar coin minted from 1878 to 1904 and then again in 1921.  The coins that the defendant ordered and received were offered as counterfeits and made in China.  The defendant paid about $2 for each coin.  The coins resembled genuine Morgan dollars in appearance, design, and weight.

From 2013 thought 2015, the defendant sold and pawned about $12,000 worth of counterfeit Morgan dollars.  He knew that the coins were counterfeit but told the buyers that the coins were genuine Morgan dollars.  He sold and pawned coins in Augusta, Newport, Farmington, Lewiston, and South Portland.  Law enforcement officers executed a warrant at the defendant’s residence on January 22, 2015.  They seized about 1200 counterfeit Morgan coins that belonged to the defendant.  

The investigation was conducted by the Augusta, Waterville, Auburn, Lewiston, South Portland and Newport Police Departments; the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office; the Maine State Police, and the U.S. Secret Service.

Updated December 23, 2016