Green belt, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Theodore D. Chuang has sentenced Ricco Darnell Taylor, 32, of Capital Heights, Md., To 41 months in federal prison, followed by three years on probation, for conspiring to pass counterfeit money and make counterfeit money. Judge Chuang also ordered Taylor to pay $ 98,000 in restitution.
The sentence was announced by the Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Jonathan F. Lenzner and Special Agent in Charge Matthew R. Stohler of the United States Secret Service – Washington Field Office.
According to his plea deal, from 2017 to December 2019, Taylor fabricated and passed on counterfeit money with co-conspirators Keara Davis, 29, of Capital Heights, Md .; Deon Jones, 31, of Temple Hills, Maryland; and Tara Simpson, 52, of Hyattsville, Maryland. As part of the conspiracy, Taylor fabricated the counterfeit with a printer at his home, provided the fraudulent currency to his co-conspirators, and occasionally sold counterfeit currency to others.
During a search of Davis and Taylor’s residence in Maryland on March 23, 2018, law enforcement officers recovered several cell phones, three fake $ 100 bills, various gift cards, receipts from retailers victims, linen paper, an HP printer, two shells and a .38 caliber revolver. According to authorities, linen paper was a type commonly used in counterfeiting operations. The ink on the counterfeit $ 100 bills has been analyzed by the Secret Service and found to be indistinguishable from genuine currency. The .38 caliber revolver was being held in connection with the counterfeiting operation.
Taylor, along with his co-conspirators, used counterfeit money to purchase goods from various local retailers and in some cases returned items in exchange for genuine currency. For example, on June 19, 2019, Taylor purchased diapers for $ 26.49 using a fake $ 100 bill. The next day, Taylor returned the diapers, along with a few items Jones had purchased, in exchange for real change. In total, the Secret Service recovered eight fake $ 100 bills used by Taylor and his co-conspirators in the June 19, 2019 transactions, along with CCTV and receipts reflecting their criminal activity.
His plea agreement further states that on July 26, 2019 and October 10, 2019, law enforcement officers conducted two roadside checks of a vehicle Taylor was driving. In both cases, Taylor attempted to escape on foot but was later apprehended. Following the two roadside checks, officers recovered a total of 31 counterfeit $ 100 bills and 27 pages of uncut counterfeit $ 20 bills displaying three repeated serial numbers. A subsequent search of Taylor’s cell phone also revealed text messages indicating the passage of counterfeit money. Taylor’s fingerprints were also found on the first three pages of the uncut $ 20 bills.
In all, Taylor and his co-conspirators are responsible for spending over $ 95,000 in counterfeit money.
On June 2, 2021, Davis was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison for conspiring and smuggling counterfeit money. Co-defendants Simpson and Jones were each sentenced to 37 months in federal prison on the same charge. The three co-accused were also ordered to pay $ 95,000 in restitution.
Acting United States Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner praised the Secret Service for their work in the investigation. Mr Lenzner thanked Deputy US Prosecutors Michael Morgan and Dana J. Brusca, who pursued the case.
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