By M.J. Subiria Arauz
Michael Allen, 40, of McDonough, entered a not guilty plea during his arraignment, on Wednesday, to charges that include conspiracy to produce and possess counterfeit U.S. currency, according to William McKinnon, Jr., Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, who is prosecuting the case.
The indictment in the case also involved Bobby Davis, 22, of Atlanta, McKinnon said. The accused allegedly were involved in a counterfeit scheme that included $900,000 in phony U.S. currency, according to Patrick Crosby, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Crosby said the conspiracy charge has a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. The charges of producing and possessing counterfeit currency have a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000.
"Before the case was presented to the grand jury, the government concluded that there was sufficient evidence to move forward with a prosecution of Allen and Davis," said McKinnon, who added that the government moved to detain Allen pending trial. Based upon this motion, Magistrate Judge C. Christopher Hagy ordered Allen to be temporarily detained pending a bond hearing, scheduled for Monday, March 14.
Bobby Davis was arraigned on Tuesday, and also entered a not guilty plea before Hagy, said Crosby. He was released on bond, and is also awaiting trial.
Crosby stressed that the defendants are presumed innocent of these charges until proven guilty. He said that, according to United States Attorney Sally Yates, between December 2006 and January 2007, Allen, Davis, Terri Reddick, 31, of Rex, and others, allegedly placed three color copiers at Reddick's residency. They also reportedly purchased resume paper, along with other items from an office supply business. Their alleged intent was to create counterfeit money, said Crosby.
"Then, over a three-week period, the defendants produced more than $900,000 in counterfeit currency," he said.
According to McKinnon, the operation was uncovered by officers with the City of East Point Police Department, on Jan. 10, 2007, when they responded to a call to Reddick's house. The call was made by Reddick's neighbor, concerned that the house had been broken into.
Reddick's trial, in 2008, included evidence that demonstrated the defendants' intentions to sell the counterfeit currency to a third party, or use it to buy drugs from Mexican drug distributors, according to Crosby. Reddick was convicted in 2008 in the Northern District of Georgia, on charges of producing and possessing counterfeit currency deriving from the incident, he said.
McKinnon added that she was sentenced in March 2008, and is serving time in federal prison. He added that he is unable to comment on the identities of any additional people who may have been involved in the case, as the investigation is ongoing.
According to Crosby, special agents of the United States Secret Service, aided by the East Point Police Department, are probing the matter.