Rumford man pleads guilty to counterfeit ploy he allegedly learned in prison

Posted July 11, 2013, at 10:34 a.m.
Last modified July 11, 2013, at 4:37 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — A Rumford man pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court to using oven cleaner, a hair straightener and a printer to make 10 counterfeit $50 bills.

Nation Miller, 23, is charged with one count of conspiracy to make counterfeit currency.

Standing before Judge D. Brock Hornby, Miller said he was guilty of the charge that on about July 3, 2012, he conspired with two others to make 10 counterfeit $50 bills in the home of a female friend.

According to court documents, Miller told his friends how he had learned to make counterfeit money while serving time in federal prison for theft of firearms from a federally licensed dealer.

The three then used a genuine $50 bill to obtain $1 bills from a local store, and then used items including an oven cleaner, an electric hair straightener and a print-scan-copy machine to transfer the image of the $50 bill onto the $1 bills.

The bills were passed in Old Orchard Beach and Mexico, Maine. Police and U.S. Secret Service agents uncovered the fraud after discovering the serial numbers of a number of phony $50 bills were the same.

Documents indicate that one of the trio turned over the hair straightener to police and told investigators that Miller used it to make the counterfeit currency.

Miller’s attorney, David R. Beneman, declined to comment on the case.

Miller was scheduled to change his plea once before, on June 17, but Assistant U.S. Attorney Darcie N. McElwee said Thursday that questions from Judge D. Brock Hornby that day “led him to believe he wasn’t sure he wanted to plead guilty, so he took a break, talked to his lawyer, and he decided to plead guilty again.”

If convicted, Miller faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

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