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Justice News

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

Monday, December 16, 2013

Hogsett Announces Breakup Of Sophisticated Indianapolis-area Counterfeiting Operation

INDIANAPOLIS – Joseph H. Hogsett, the United States Attorney, announced today the filing of federal counterfeiting charges against Brandon Clark, age 24, of Indianapolis. In a criminal complaint filed today, it is alleged that Clark manufactured more than a quarter-million dollars in counterfeit bills at a home on the eastside of Indianapolis.

“During this city’s busiest shopping season, this alleged scheme was flooding the area with counterfeit currency designed to victimize both consumers and businesses,” Hogsett said. “This operation was as sophisticated as any this city has ever seen, but was brought to a halt thanks to great investigative work by the U.S. Secret Service and our IMPD partners.”

A federal criminal complaint filed by prosecutors this morning alleges that since September 2013, more than $250,000 in counterfeit currency was distributed in the Indianapolis area, all of which was traced by investigators to a single source. On December 5, a confidential informant identified an individual known as “Brandon” that was distributing counterfeit currency from a home on the eastside of Indianapolis. The informant alleged that the defendant spoke openly about technical aspects related to the manufacture of counterfeit currency, and was willing to trade counterfeit bills as part of drug transactions.

Five days later, on December 10, it is alleged that a second confidential informant provided investigators with information about a counterfeit operation being run out of a house on Riley Avenue. This informant allegedly admitted to having purchased counterfeit $100 bills from the defendant on a number of occasions, with a negotiated price of $20 in real currency for each counterfeit $100 bill. The informant alleged that he had purchased approximately $10,000 in fake currency during each of these transactions. The informant also alleged that he purchased firearms for the defendant, who had armed himself in order to protect his counterfeit materials.

Based on this information, a state search warrant was executed by the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department at a Riley Avenue house on December 10, 2013. The defendant allegedly made post-arrest statements indicating that the production of counterfeit currency is something he considers an “art,” and made statements implying that the operation had at times sold counterfeit bills in quantities exceeding $100,000.

It is alleged that in executing the search warrants, investigators seized materials related to an incredibly sophisticated counterfeit operation, including:

• approximately $60-70,000 in counterfeit currency;
• six firearms;
• methamphetamine;
• six high-quality printers;
• six paper cutters;
• a laminating machine;
• a money counting machine;
• a counterfeit detection machine;
• various bottles of ink;
• and a large quantity of blank paper stock.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Winfield Ong, who is prosecuting the case for the government, the counterfeit bills found within the home allegedly resembles the approximately $250,000 in counterfeit currency previously identified by investigators. Clark could face up to 20 years in federal prison if he is found guilty, as well as significant fines and years of federally-supervised release.

This case was the result of a collaborative investigation led by the United States Secret Service and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, with significant assistance from the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office. Hogsett specifically applauded the work of IMPD’s Violent Crime Unit for their tireless investigative work into the scheme.

A criminal complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Updated January 26, 2015