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Press Release

Tennessee Man Pleads Guilty in Ugandan-Made Counterfeit Currency Scheme

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

PITTSBURGH, PA -- A Tennessee resident waived indictment and pleaded guilty in federal court in Pittsburgh to conspiracy and transferring counterfeit currency, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

Cole M. Harris, aka Ink, 23, of Knoxville, TN pleaded guilty to two counts before Chief United States District Judge Mark Hornak.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Harris was a reshipper in the United States for the distribution of Ugandan-manufactured counterfeit currency that was being sold online by an individual using the moniker Willy Clock. Harris traveled to Uganda and smuggled the counterfeit currency into the United States.

Judge Hornak scheduled sentencing for July 18, 2019 at 1:30 p.m. The law provides for a total sentence of 25 years in prison, a fine of $500,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Shardul S. Desai is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The United States Secret Service, assisted by U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Cole.

Updated March 8, 2019

Financial Fraud