HOUSTON (CN) – A federal judge handed down a 21-year sentence to a Texan who made and passed off $500,000 in counterfeit money to businesses.
Synaca Thomas, 35, of Cypress, a Houston suburb, pleaded guilty in January to conspiracy to make and possess counterfeit U.S. currency, as well as illegal possession of a firearm by a felon.
Thomas’ wife, 26-year-old Brittany Jordan, also pleaded guilty previously to conspiracy to make counterfeit U.S. currency and one count of passing counterfeit currency.
“Thomas and Jordan admitted they conspired to make counterfeit United States currency between January 2009 and January 2011,” prosecutors said in a statement. “Thomas and Jordan obtained genuine $5 bills that they reprinted as counterfeit $100 bills. During the course of the conspiracy, Thomas and Jordan made and passed approximately $500,000 in counterfeit currency to Houston area retailers including grocery and computer stores and tanning salons.”
An extensive criminal history compounded the charges against Thomas at sentencing, prosecutors said, noting that the defendant had also used M&M’s packaging to attempt smuggling contraband into his detention center.
U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison sentenced Thomas to 60 months for the conspiracy charge, plus 82 and 120 months on the counterfeiting and firearms charges, all to run consecutively, prosecutors said.
Jordan is out on bond pending her sentencing hearing.