Two Brooklyn Men Indicted for Counterfeit Currency Scheme

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SCRANTON, PA — Two residents of Brooklyn, New York, 20-year-old Eli Gabriel Lewis, Jr. and 26-year-old Dejuan Smartt, were indicted on June 13, 2023, by a federal grand jury on charges of passing counterfeit Federal Reserve notes and conspiracy.  The case was unsealed on July 24, 2023.

According to United States Attorney Gerard M. Karam, the indictment alleges that between February 4, 2023, and February 22, 2023, Lewis and Smartt conspired to pass counterfeit federal reserve notes, including incidents at no fewer than 16 different stores in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.  The Indictment further alleges that on six different occasions during the above-described time frame, Lewis and Smartt, either individually or collectively, passed counterfeit $20 Federal Reserve notes to retailers within the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

The matter was investigated by the United States Secret Service, the Pennsylvania State Police, the Mount Joy Police Department, the Northwest Lancaster County Regional Police Department, the Walnutport Police Department, the Manheim Township Police Department, the Kingston Township Police Department, the Upper Macungie Police Department, the Clinton Township (NJ) Police Department, the Snyder County District Attorney’s Office, the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office, the Hunterdon County Prosecutor’s Office (NJ), and the Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office.  Assistant U.S. Attorney James Buchanan is prosecuting the case.

The maximum penalty under federal law for this offense is twenty years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

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Indictments are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

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