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Woman faces prison for passing phony money at area businesses


From Illinois Business Journal

EAST ST. LOUIS – A St. Louis woman faces up to five years in prison for passing counterfeit currency at several businesses, including some in Metro East.

Stephen R. Wigginton, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, said Shawnta L. Thomas, 37, pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of conspiracy to possess and pass counterfeit United States currency. Thomas faces the prison term, a fine of up to $250,000 and up to three years of supervised release to follow any period of incarceration, when she is sentenced on Dec. 10.

At her plea, Thomas admitted that between May 16, 2013, and May 19, 2013, she, along with two other individuals traveled into Southern Illinois to pass counterfeit currency at various businesses. Prior to being caught by law enforcement, Thomas and the other members of the conspiracy passed counterfeit cash in Madison and St. Clair Counties. When arrested, Thomas was found to be in possession of an additional $380 in counterfeit currency that had not yet been passed.

The investigation was conducted by the United States Secret Service, Bethalto Police Department, and Pontoon Beach Police Department, and the case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ranley R. Killian.

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