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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Washington Man Sentenced to Prison on Counterfeiting Charges

PACER Case Reference: 14-02

HELENA – A Renton, Washington man, who passed fraudulent money orders in Montana, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon, was sentenced today to 5 years in federal prison.  U.S. District Judge Charles Lovell ordered James Henry Hernandez, Jr., 48, to serve 60 months in prison followed by 3 years supervised release.  Hernandez was also ordered to pay $30,560 in restitution.  In November 2014, Hernandez pleaded guilty to conspiracy to make and possess a counterfeited security of an organization.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Chad Spraker told the court that on August 30, 2013, Butte-Silverbow Law Enforcement officers responded to a report from Lucky Lil’s Casino that a man had passed counterfeit money orders.  Upon arriving, officers asked the defendant for identification.  He produced a Washington driver’s license with a false name.

During a search of the defendant’s truck, law enforcement found a number of items of contraband and suspected contraband including (1) 77 money grams in envelopes; (2) several cashed money grams; (3) 17 counterfeit $50 bills (4) a ledger listing the names of casinos and stores; (5) computer software, paper, and cutting material commonly used to manufacture counterfeit money orders and currency; (6) an electronic scale, loaded syringes, drug paraphernalia, and a padded mailing envelope with a Washington address containing OxyContin pills; (7) five Washington driver’s licenses with Hernandez’s picture, each with a different name; and (8) a social security card with an alias.

The defendant was interviewed and confessed to manufacturing currency and money orders.  Hernandez further stated that he made out the money orders using fraudulent identification documents and then cashed them throughout Montana.  He then went to various businesses to purchase items or reloadable debit cards.  The investigation revealed the fraudulent money orders had been used to purchase goods and services in several stores throughout the northwest.

The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and the United States Secret Service.

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Updated April 22, 2015