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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Broward Resident Pleads Guilty to Using Counterfeit Money in Broward and Palm Beach Counties

A Broward County resident used counterfeit currency to unlawfully purchase items and gamble in Broward and Palm Beach Counties.

Wifredo A. Ferrer, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Paula A. Reid, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Secret Service (USSS), Miami Field Office, William R. Latchford, Chief of Police, Seminole Police Department, and Stephen J. Stepp, Chief, Palm Beach Gardens Police Department, made the announcement.

Bernardo Lecaros, 35, of Pompano Beach, pled guilty to possessing and passing counterfeit currency and conspiracy to possess and pass counterfeit currency.

According to court documents, Lecaros used counterfeit money to pay for items he purchased and to gamble.  On December 10, 2014 and again on December 14, 2014, Lecaros unlawfully used $5,400 in counterfeit currency in order to gamble at the Seminole Classic Casino in Hollywood, Florida.  During the course of the investigation, Lecaros was also found to have possessed an additional $37,800 in counterfeit currency.

On March 3, 2015, Lecaros used $300 in counterfeit currency to make additional unlawful purchases at a luxury department store located inside the Palm Beach Gardens Mall in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.  Lecaros was also found to be in possession of an additional $31,500 in counterfeit currency.

Lecaros is scheduled to be sentenced on June 29, 2015 at 9:00 a.m., by U.S. District Judge Robin Rosenberg, in West Palm Beach.

At sentencing, Lecaros faces up to twenty years in prison for each count of possessing and passing counterfeit currency, and up to five years in prison for the conspiracy to possess and pass counterfeit currency charge.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the USSS, the Seminole Police Department and the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney’s Randy Katz and Lauren Jorgensen.

Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov

Updated February 4, 2016