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Press Release

St. Louis Man Sentenced In Craigslist Counterfeit Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Illinois

James L. Porter, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced today, that Lewis Johnson, 38, of St. Louis, Missouri, was sentenced in the District Court in East Saint Louis, Illinois, on the charge of Conspiracy to Manufacture, Possess and Pass Counterfeit United States Currency. The Court sentenced Johnson to 36 months in federal prison to be followed by 3 years of supervised release.

Johnson pled guilty on December 29, 2015. During his plea, Johnson admitted that he, along with several others, had engaged in an agreement to use counterfeit United States currency to buy vehicles off of sellers using Craigslist. Once in possession of the vehicles they would then resell them for genuine currency. During his sentencing on March 31, 2016, the District Court Judge found that Johnson had engaged in the manufacturing of counterfeit currency in addition to passing the counterfeit.

During August of 2013, the group contacted a person in Sandoval, Illinois, who had listed his vehicle for sale on Craigslist. Johnson, along with the other conspirators then met with the seller and purchased the vehicle for $2,400 in counterfeit $100 Federal Reserve Notes. Johnson and others involved in the conspiracy were arrested a short time after the fraudulent purchase.

The investigation in this case was conducted by the Carlyle and Sandoval Police Departments, the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office, and the United States Secret Service. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ranley R. Killian.

Updated April 1, 2016