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Press Release

N.Y. Man Convicted for Knowingly Passing Counterfeit Money

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Rhode Island

PROVIDENCE – A Bronx, New York man was convicted in U.S. District Court in Providence today of passing counterfeit money in September 2017 in stores at a Cranston shopping center.

Christopher Modesto, 22, was found guilty by U.S. District Court Chief Judge William E. Smith of passing counterfeit obligations or securities. The verdict was announced immediately following the completion of a bench trial that began earlier in the day.

Modesto’s guilty verdict is announced by United States Attorney Stephen G. Dambruch, Cranston Police Chief Colonel Michael J. Winquist, and Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service Stephen Marks.

According to court documents, on September 29, 2017, Modesto and two unidentified accomplices passed a total of $5,000 worth of counterfeit $100 bills to successfully make purchases at a number of retail stores. The government’s evidence showed that Modesto passed counterfeit $100 bills at at least three retail stores, of which two attempts were successful.

Cranston Police were notified by shopping center security that several stores were experiencing incidents of counterfeit cash being passed to cashiers. Based on a description of one of the individuals provided by some store employees, Modesto was located inside a store and was seen attempting to make a purchase using a counterfeit $100 bill. He was immediately arrested by Cranston Police.

It was the third store Modesto is known to have passed counterfeit $100 bills on that day. One other attempt was successful. Another attempt was unsuccessful when a cashier refused to accept the bogus $100 bills.

Modesto is scheduled to be sentenced on March 22, 2019. Uttering counterfeit obligations or securities is punishable by statutory penalties of up to 20 years imprisonment, not more than 3 years supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000.

Modesto, who had been free on unsecured bond while awaiting trial, was ordered remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service and detained while awaiting sentencing.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sandra R. Hebert and Richard B. Myrus.

The matter was investigated by the Cranston Police Department and the United States Secret Service.



Jim Martin
(401) 709-5357

Updated December 19, 2018

Press Release Number: 18-168