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Press Release

Florence Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Role in Multi-State Scheme to Manufacture and Pass Counterfeit Money

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Carolina

Florence, South Carolina ---- United States Attorney Sherri A. Lydon announced today that Michael James Bembry, 28, of Florence, South Carolina, was sentenced to two years in federal prison for conspiracy to manufacture and pass counterfeit money and manufacturing counterfeit money.

Evidence presented to the court showed that Bembry was involved in a conspiracy to manufacture and pass counterfeit $100 and $50 bills in multiple states, including South Carolina, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.  This conspiracy, which began in 2015, included at least nine defendants who were responsible for making and passing over $100,000 in counterfeit money. 

Bembry and other conspirators manufactured counterfeit money at several residences in Florence, South Carolina, and in a room at the Roosevelt Hotel in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  They produced counterfeit $100 bills on genuine currency paper, then visited various local businesses, where they would purchase small items or services with the counterfeit $100 bills in order to obtain genuine currency as change.

In May 2015, multiple counterfeit $100 bills, a genuine $100 “parent note,” a printer, and other counterfeiting materials were seized by local law enforcement from a car Bembry was driving in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey.  Later, in July 2016, Bembry and a codefendant passed a counterfeit $100 bill at a business in Bryson City, North Carolina.  To date, seven of Bembry’s co-conspirators have pled guilty to federal crimes for their role in this counterfeiting scheme.   

United States District Judge R. Bryan Harwell sentenced Bembry to 24 months in federal prison, to be followed by 3 years of court-ordered supervision.  There is no parole in the federal system.

The case was investigated by agents of United States Secret Service with the assistance of the Florence County Sheriff’s Office, the Florence Police Department, the Egg Harbor Township Police Department, and the Bryson City Police Department.  Assistant United States Attorney A. Bradley Parham of the Florence office is prosecuting the case with the assistance of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.



Lance Crick (864) 282-2105

Updated November 29, 2018

Financial Fraud