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Press Release

Two Charged in Major Counterfeiting Scheme

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

PITTSBURGH – A resident of Elmhurst, New York and a resident of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges of violating Federal counterfeiting laws, United States Attorney Scott W. Brady announced today.

The 11-count Indictment named Mario Mondesir, age 35, of Elmhurst, NY and Forkpa Howard, age 30, of Philadelphia, PA as defendants.

According to the Indictment, Mondesir and Howard conspired with each other to counterfeit $100 Federal Reserve Notes, and then passed said counterfeit bills in excess of 1,050 times at various retail stores and businesses in the Western District of Pennsylvania and elsewhere. Both defendants also possessed counterfeit $100 Federal Reserve Notes.

The law provides for a maximum total sentence of not more than 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000 or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendants.

Assistant United States Attorney Jessica Lieber Smolar is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The United States Secret Service conducted the investigation leading to the Indictment in this case.

An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated November 18, 2019

Financial Fraud