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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Tennessee

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Five Men Plead Guilty To Passing Counterfeit United States Currency To Individuals Selling Items On Craigslist

Memphis, TN – Deandre Wright, 24, Demetrius James, 20, Keartic Threatt, 20, Tauris White, 20, and Travis Raggs, 19, have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to manufacture and pass counterfeit United States currency to individuals selling items on Craigslist, announced Edward L. Stanton III, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee.

According to the indictment and statements made in open court, beginning in early 2014, Wright and James began manufacturing counterfeit federal reserve notes. Once the notes were made, Wright, James, Threatt, White and Raggs began targeting individuals selling items on Craigslist. The group specifically targeted individuals selling PlayStations, Xboxes, and cell phones. An individual selling his or her item would be contacted by one of the defendants, and a meeting location would be arranged where the merchandise would be exchanged for the currency. Once the parties met at the designated location and the exchange was made, the victim would quickly learn that the currency was counterfeit. The defendants would display a show of force and then quickly flee the location. The PlayStations and Xboxes were being sold for between $200 and $400.

Based on the investigation, approximately 50 victims were defrauded by the group. The victims included several teenagers and adults, and many lived in Shelby County and surrounding communities.

The defendants face a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

This investigation was conducted by the United States Secret Service and Special Agent Michael Riddle. The Secret Service is asking victims to contact their office if they were victims of this scheme. This case is being prosecuted for the government by Assistant United States Attorney Kevin P. Whitmore.

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Updated April 21, 2015