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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, August 31, 2018

Indiana Man Sentenced for Counterfeiting at Dayton Dragons Game

DAYTON – Kenneth Stopkotte, 53, of Unionville, Ind., was sentenced in U.S. District Court to 21 months in prison for using counterfeit money. He was also sentenced to an additional nine months in prison, to be served consecutively, for violating his terms of previous supervised release.

Benjamin C. Glassman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Yvonne DiCristoforo, Special Agent in Charge, United States Secret Service, and Dayton Police Chief Richard S. Biehl announced the sentence imposed today by U.S. District Judge Thomas M. Rose.

According to the Statement of Facts in this case, Stopkotte was on supervised release following a federal conviction for bank larceny, money laundering and access device fraud when he purchased more than 200 counterfeit $20 bills off a website on the “dark web.”

In April 2018, Stopkotte traveled from his home in Unionville, Ind. to Dayton to attend a Dayton Dragons minor league baseball game. He carried with him most of the counterfeit money and made numerous purchases, including his ticket, food and beverage and other concessions. He had previously used some of the fake $20 bills at a sporting event in Arizona.

He used 41 of the counterfeit $20 bills at the Dayton Dragons game, receiving genuine currency back on his purchases. As investigators approached him at the game, he attempted to hide 54 other bills under a stadium refrigerator. Law enforcement officials also discovered Stopkotte hid $166 in genuine currency in the sole of his shoe, and he had additional genuine currency elsewhere in his clothing.

Investigators later found an additional 136 fake $20 bills hidden in the cover of a boat at his residence in Indiana.

Stopkotte’s iPhone history revealed numerous searches regarding counterfeiting and research on the dark web.

Stopkotte pleaded guilty in this case in May 2018.

All of the above activity took place while Stopkotte was still on supervised release after a different federal conviction in the Middle District of Tennessee in 2014, in which the defendant stole more than $66,000 by taking donation checks out of the mailboxes of multiple churches. He was sentenced to 26 months in prison.

As part of the sentence imposed today, Stopkotte will forfeit 231 fake $20 bills, an iPhone and the nearly $495 in cash he had in his possession at the time of his arrest.

U.S. Attorney Glassman commended the investigation of this case by the Secret Service and Dayton Police, as well as First Assistant United States Attorney Vipal J. Patel, who is representing the United States in this case.

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Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Component(s): 
Contact: 
jennifer.thornton@usdoj.gov
Updated August 31, 2018