Columbia Man Sentenced for Counterfeiting
Columbia, South Carolina ---- United States Attorney Beth Drake stated today that David Michael Gibson, age 39, of Columbia, was sentenced for Conspiracy to Manufacture and Pass Counterfeit Currency, a violation of Title 18, United States Code, § 371. United States District Judge Mary Geiger Lewis, of Columbia, sentenced Gibson to 30 months in jail. Previously, Judge Lewis sentenced Travis Cree Stafford, age 39, and Justin William Watson, age 32, both of Columbia, to 46 months and 9 months in jail, respectively. They both were involved in the counterfeiting scheme with Gibson.
Facts presented in court established that on March 15, 2016, SLED and the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Department conducted a search warrant at the residence of Stafford. Officers recovered devices and materials used to make counterfeit currency. Stafford admitted making between $100,000 and $150,000 in counterfeit currency over six to seven years.
Stafford used the counterfeit money to support his drug habit. He purchased his first batch of $1,000 for $100 from a drug dealer. He began experimenting in manufacturing bills and sold them for 10% of face value. In early 2016, he taught his friend and roommate David Gibson how to make them. He and Gibson made around $5,000 to $7,000 in counterfeit FRNs. Gibson washed real currency while Stafford made bills on an inkjet printer.
Gibson and his girlfriend would pass the notes at small stores in Kershaw County.
Stafford sold counterfeit bills to Justin William Watson. Watson agreed to buy $10,000 in counterfeit money for $1,000, but Stafford only produced $5,000, for which Watson paid him $200.
The United States Secret Service, SLED, and the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Department investigated the case. Assistant United States Attorney Winston David Holliday, Jr., of the Columbia office prosecuted the case.