Skip to main content
Press Release

South Louisiana Man Sentenced for Counterfeiting

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Louisiana

LAFAYETTE, La.Gabriel Bates, 33, of Opelousas, Louisiana, was sentenced today for counterfeiting, announced United States Attorney Brandon B. Brown.  United States District Judge Robert R. Summerhays sentenced Bates to 26 months in prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release. Bates pleaded guilty to the charge on April 12, 2023.

According to evidence presented to the court, on or about August 24, 2022, officers with the Opelousas Police Department responded to a local donut shop to investigate the reported passing of a suspected counterfeit $20 bill. Through their investigation, law enforcement officers determined that Bates was the individual who passed the counterfeit bill. The United States Secret Service had conducted a separate counterfeit investigation prior to this incident in which Bates was developed as a suspect. Agents were able to secure a search warrant for his residence in Opelousas.  On August 29, 2022, officers searched the residence and located and seized numerous counterfeit United States Federal Reserve Notes in denominations of $20 and $100.  Bates was subsequently arrested and found to have an additional counterfeit $20 bill and handwritten instructions for manufacturing counterfeit currency in his pocket. The Federal Reserve Notes recovered from Bates’ residence were analyzed and determined to be in fact not genuine. 

Bates was interviewed by law enforcement agents after waiving his Miranda rights and admitted that he did manufacture counterfeit United States money and passed those counterfeit notes that he had made in several locations throughout the Opelousas area in an attempt to defraud.

The case was investigated by the United States Secret Service and Opelousas Police Department and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig R. Bordelon.

# # #

Updated July 27, 2023